Some of Hollywood's biggest names are walking the red carpet on Venice's Lido island — and hoping it's a rehearsal for Oscar night.
Among potential prize contenders are Johnny Depp, all but unrecognizable as a Boston mobster in Scott Cooper's "Black Mass," Eddie Redmayne transformed into a transgender woman in Tom Hooper's "The Danish Girl," and Idris Elba as an African warlord in Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation."
Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Ralph Fiennes were present Sunday for the showing of Luca Guadagnino's drama "A Bigger Splash," while Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult were there Saturday for Drake Doremus' futuristic feature "Equals."
Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci joined director Tom McCarthy for the premiere Thursday of "Spotlight," about Boston Globe journalists investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Michael Keaton, Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams play the reporters.
McCarthy said he was apprehensive about holding the film's public debut in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy. "I expect no reaction" from the Vatican, he said. "I would love to be proven wrong. … I would love the pope to see this." The festival wraps up next Saturday.
Beyoncé goes solo at Jay-Z's music fest
Beyoncé sang her usual hits, changed multiple times and hit the high notes at the Budweiser Made In America music festival in Philadelphia. She also pulled more than ever from her Destiny's Child catalog, interpolated inspirational words from Maya Angelou and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and told the feverish audience near the end of her 90-minute set: "I am so, so happy to celebrate my birthday with y'all." Beyoncé, who turned 34 on Friday, headlined the first night of her husband's two-day music festival held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Though Jay Z didn't join the pop diva onstage Saturday night, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams' presence was felt.
blockbuster summer: After a lackluster 2014 summer, Hollywood has bounced back with one of its best seasons ever. But the most surprising part of the turnaround is that superheroes aren't the ones who saved the day. Instead, Hollywood's summer has been led by a banner season from Universal Pictures, the lone major studio with nary a cape in its cupboard. With a record-setting $5.3 billion-plus in revenue so far this year, Universal has powered Hollywood to a near record summer with a diverse string of hits including the season's top film "Jurassic World" ($1.6 billion worldwide), the top animated hit, "Minions," and one of the most successful sequels, "Pitch Perfect 2."