Sept. 2 - Fans and media alike swarm to Venice as Madonna introduces her second feature film, while Kate Winslett heads cast in new Polanski movie. Edward Baran reports.
The appearance of one of the world's most famous women at the Venice Film Festival always threatened to steal the show. And in a lavender dress adorned with red butterflies, Madonna didn't disappoint. Working the red carpet to within an inch of its life, the Material Girl was here to promote her second effort as a director, "W.E." The film re-tells the story of American divorcee Wallis Simpson, whose affair with Britain's King Edward VIII led him to abdicate the throne. Madonna's first outing behind the camera three years ago was not well received, so she and her cast will be hoping for a warmer reception this time round. Elsewhere at the festival, the cast of Roman Polanski's new comedy "Carnage", were promoting their film, notably with no sign of their director. Kate Winslett, who leads the cast in this comedy of manners, said her experience as a mother helped her understand the situation of the families in the film. SOUNDBITE: Kate Winslett, actress, saying (English) "I suppose I have found myself subconsciously drawn to these types of stories that include everybody, they include every family member, they include the complexities of a family dynamic, especially involving children and being a parent myself I'm familiar with school playground politics and how complex that can be.....when Roman Polanski invites you to join him in any project, you really don't say no." Winslet, playing investment broker Nancy Cowan, won the biggest cheer for her on-screen vomit, an experience she described as hilarious. SOUNDBITE: Kate Winslett, actress, saying (English): "My kids came to work that day, for the vomit day and I'm so thrilled that they were there because they literally haven't stopped talking about it since. And it really was utterly hysterical. And everything smelled of sick for days." "Carnage" is one of 22 films in the main competition line-up in Venice which runs until September 10. Edward Baran, Reuters.