Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have previously been subject to speculation about whether their relationship has ever crossed the line into romance.
Last week the rumor mill went into overdrive as George Clooney and Sandra Bullock attended the 70th Venice Film Festival together to promote their new film Gravity.
Whilst male and female co-stars are usually fairly affectionate when posing together on the red carpet, a series of intimate shots led to speculation that romance was definitely bubbling between the co-stars.
Newly single George Clooney, who recently split from his wrestler turned model girlfriend Stacy Keibler, was snapped on more than one occasion staring at Sandra Bullock somewhat like a love sick puppy.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney have previously been subject to speculation about whether their relationship has ever crossed the line into romance
George Clooney’s body language only served to inflame the rumors as he kept leaning into Sandra Bullock and tending to her every need, at one point even affectionately mopping her brow.
This led to claims that George Clooney, 52, was “making eyes” at his long time friend.
Sandra Bullock was quick to shoot down the rumors telling Associated Press, “He was not making eyes. Maybe cross eyes but that’s the extent of his goggle eyes.”
The actress explained that the pair had known each other long enough to have enough “dirt” on each other to command a deep level of “respect and understanding”.
Despite not having romantic feelings for George Clooney, Sandra Bullock professed her deep affection for him saying: “I adore George.”
Meanwhile incorrigible bachelor George Clooney released a statement through Warner Brothers confirming the platonic nature of his relationship with Sandra Bullock saying: “We are just friends. We have known each other before either of us had success in films so there is no pretense.”
Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August.
The 3D movie, directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, sees George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts on an ill-fated mission.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu mama tambien won two awards at the festival in 2001 – best scenario and best young male talent for actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.
The gala on the Venice Lido runs from 28 August to 7 September.
Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August
Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci – whose debut film, The Grim Reaper, showed at the festival in 1962 – will lead the jury for this year’s Golden Lion for best film.
US director William Friedkin, best known for his films The French Connection and The Exorcist, will also receive a lifetime achievement award.
He described the festival as his “spiritual home”, adding he would accept the honorary prize “with gratitude and love”.
Alfonso Cuaron’s film features George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts attempting to return to Earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in orbit.
The rest of the festival line-up is yet to be announced, but films being tipped to be screened include Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien and Twelve Years a Slave, the latest film from British director Steve McQueen starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
South Korean film Pieta has won the Golden Lion award at the 69th edition of Venice Film Festival.
The best actor award was split between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix for The Master.
Inspired by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, the film also picked up the Silver Lion prize for best director.
South Korean film Pieta, directed by Kim Ki-duk, has won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival 2012
Directed by Paul Thomas Andersen, The Master tells the story of a sect leader who takes a war veteran under his wing.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also collected Phoenix’s award, said: “Joaquin Phoenix is a life force in this film … and I kind of rode that life force and that was my performance.
“It was really riding his life force because it was something that was untameable and my job was to try to and it was almost impossible, which is kind of the movie.”
He also praised Paul Thomas Anderson, who was not at the ceremony, calling him: “Friend first, collaborator second. And he happens to be one of the great film-makers.”
Morality tale Pieta, directed by Kim Ki-duk, centres on a debt collector who is forced to examine his life when a woman turns up claiming to be his mother.
On accepting his award, Kim Ki-duk sang a song to the audience while thanking the jury.
Speaking after, he said: “This is a song that we Koreans sing when we are sad, when we feel alone, when we feel desperate, but also when we’re happy.”
The Venice Festival jury, which was headed by US director Michael Mann, picked Hadas Yaron for best actress for Fill the Void, a film delving into the life of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Venice Film Festival’s new artistic director Alberto Barbera has pledged to revive the event’s facilities and fortunes as this year’s festival gets under way.
There are questions over whether the event can continue to attract top talent and retain its position as one of the movie world’s leading festivals.
Alberto Barbera said a major new cinema complex would be built despite being abandoned in 2011 due to lack of funds.
He said: “We cannot host a modern event and attract film-makers without it.
“So yes, it has to happen. It was one of the conditions for me taking the role.
“We know we have this reputation for quality. It’s our greatest asset, and it’s a privileged position.”
Venice Film Festival's new artistic director Alberto Barbera has pledged to revive the event's facilities and fortunes as this year's festival gets under way
Alberto Barbera has cut the number of films being screened and has faced criticism over the number of stars attending this year.
Venice has come under increasing competition from the Toronto Film Festival, which overlaps with its Italian rival. Since the economic crash of 2008, Hollywood studios and celebrities have often preferred to show their movies there.
A new, state of the art cinema complex was due to open in Venice in 2012, but work was shelved last year when asbestos was discovered. That left a 100 ft crater next to the Palazzo Del Cinema.
But Alberto Barbera promised the new buildings would be finished by 2015.
“It’s a deal, it is signed and sealed,” he said.
“We will start work either later on in the year or in 2013.”
Local authorities, including the city of Venice, will now fund the renovations, he added.
Venice Film Festival is the oldest in the world, and will show more than 60 world premieres over the next 10 days, including Wednesday’s screening of Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, starring Kate Hudson and British actor Riz Ahmed.
Alberto Barbera, who used to head Italy’s Museum of Cinema at Turin, also said he had other plans to change the event, including introducing a five-day film market starting this year, and giving a first time film-making prize, which would involve the festival funding three movies by new directors.
The Observer film critic Jason Solomons blamed the exodus of top films and stars on the high cost of conducting press interviews in the city and accommodating film talent.
“A few years ago, Joe Wright’s Atonement had its world premiere at Venice,” he said.
“Now he’s made Anna Karenina, again starring Keira Knightley. It’s a period film all about decadence and decay, and it belongs in Venice. It should be here. But they can’t afford to launch it here now.”
Another problem, according to Jason Solomons, was the recent closure of the Hotel Des Bains on the Lido island – the setting for the 1971 film Death in Venice. The hotel is being turned into luxury flats.
“Death in Venice says it all,” Jason Solomons continues.
“By closing the Des Bains, the stars have nowhere to stay.”
Critics, though, still say they rate the festival highly. As well as The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the event will also show Tree of Life director Terence Malick’s To The Wonder and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep.
Meanwhile, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix will star in The Master, the story of a religious cult during World War Two, directed by Magnolia‘s Paul Thomas Anderson.
“They’ve actually gone against the grain by reducing, not increasing, the amount of films on offer, and that’s brave,” suggested The Independent’s Kaleem Aftab.
“It looks like less will be more from now on in order for Venice to overcome the impression that this is a festival on the wane. But on paper, it’s delivered some big names this year.”
The Venice Film Festival runs until 8 September.
Madonna’s movie, W.E. makes its world premiere out of competition tonight at the 68th edition of Venice Film Festival.
Madonna‘s film tells the story of celebrated romance between Britain’s King Edward VIII and the twice divorced American Mrs. Wallis Simpson, and the grave constitutional crisis it caused.
W.E., the Madonna’s film title stands for the initials of the two lovers, Wallis and Edward, although he close family and his mistresses called him David.
Andrea Riseborough, Madonna and Abbie Cornish pose at the photo call for the film W.E. during the 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival. (AP photo)
The movie subverts the Royal Family heritage genre by introducing a modern-day parallel, about an unhappily married New Yorker named Wally Winthrop. Madonna uses this second storyline to counterpoint and comment on what happened to the Duchess of Windsor, as Wallis Simpson became when she finally married the King Edward VIII after he renounced the throne for her in 1936.
Madonna studied the crisis for years before deciding to make this movie.
Everybody knows that the affair cost the King his kingdom and an empire, but Madonna, the film-maker, who wrote the screenplay with her old friend Alek Keshishian, raised the question of what it cost Wallis Simpson.
Wallis Simpson played by Andrea Riseborough
Wallis Simpson became the Duchess of Windsor and lived a life of luxury but, as she points out in the movie, the King “used me to escape his prison, only to incarcerate me in my own”. Wallis Simpson was played beautifully by Andrea Riseborough.