All eyes are on the Lido as the awards ceremony for the 2022 Venice Film Festival kicks off.

The official ceremony for the 79th edition began moments ago and, after one of the best festival line-ups in years, it’s anyone’s bet who will walk away with this year’s Golden Lion for best film.

With four films in competition this year — Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Bardo, Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, and Romain Gavras’ Athena — Netflix is looking for a repeat of 2018, when Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma won Venice, kicking off a phenomenal awards campaign that ended a triple Oscar win for the Mexican drama. Last year, Jane Campion’s best director win in Venice for The Power of the Dog, another Netflix title, also foreshadowed her Academy Award campaign, where Campion won best director.

Awards handicappers will have a close eye on the actors’ categories in Venice. Cate Blanchett, who gave a blistering performance as a classical conductor in Todd Field’s Tár, and Ana de Armas, who transformed into Marilyn Monroe for Blonde, are considered the best actress frontrunners. A win tonight could kick-start their Oscar campaigns.

In the best actor race, Brendan Fraser’s much-celebrated comeback, as the lead in Darren Aronofsky’s melodrama The Whale, has attracted the most attention. However, the Canadian star has some strong competition from the likes of Timothée Chalamet, who plays a drifter and sometimes cannibal in Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All, and Hugh Jackman, who gave a standout performance as the father of a troubled teen in Florian Zeller’s The Son.

Julianne Moore heads the seven-member jury that will pick the 2022 Venice winners, including the Golden Lion.

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