The Venice Film Festival -- "il nonno" of all film festivals -- opens late today (Wednesday) with the screening of Giuseppe Tornatore's Baaria , the first Italian film to open the festival in 20 years. Some 24 films will be competing for the festival's top Golden Lion award, which was won last year by the American film The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke. Among the American films participating in the competition is Michael Moore's latest acerbic documentary, Capitalism A Love Story , and Tom Ford's A Single Man, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. The film, which marks the famed fashion designer's directorial debut, is based on the Christopher Isherwood novel about a gay British professor mourning the death of his partner. The festival's jury is headed by director Ang Lee, who won the Golden Lion in 2005 for his Brokeback Mountain .

02/09/2009