Venice Film Festival: Tim Blake Nelson takes the lead. Someone sends him a tuxedo.

VENICE – The first time that Tim Blake Nelson visited Venice Film Festival was three years ago, as one of the star actors of the Wester...


VENICE – The first time that Tim Blake Nelson visited Venice Film Festival was three years ago, as one of the star actors of the Western anthology “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs», Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. As Nelson quickly understood, following these filmmakers around Venice can open an endless number of doors.

“Traveling to a film festival with the Coens is a completely different experience than traveling with any other movie,” said Nelson, whose lead role came in.O brother, where are you, ”Also directed by the Coen brothers. “It’s like being associated with Picasso or Matisse.

This year, Nelson is in Venice to support “Old Henry”, a western in which he plays. It’s a much smaller film than “Buster Scruggs” – Nelson even described “Old Henry” as a “micro western” – and it comes from Potsy Ponciroli, a young filmmaker who is still proving himself. This means that Nelson is taking on a lot more responsibility than on his first trip to the festival.

“We are in a completely different stratum,” Nelson said. “I think this may be one of the lowest budget films ever to premiere in Venice! It’s a very small movie, and it’s quite extraordinary that we’re here next to “Dune”.

But modesty works in the film’s favor: “Old Henry” is a rock solid western that, over time, gently suggests that this is more than you expected. In a rare lead role, Nelson plays Henry, a widowed farmer living on a small piece of land in Oklahoma Territory. It’s 1906, and Henry’s teenage son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) is eager to go on an adventure, get off the farm, and tear himself away from his overprotective father’s grip.

But adventure finds them instead when Henry and Wyatt stumble upon a near-dead cowboy and his pocket full of cash. When Henry brings the two back to his farm, it doesn’t take long before a sinister gunslinger (Stephen Dorff) comes in to sniff that bounty. And in the deadlock that ensues, maybe father and son will learn more about each other than they expected.

“As an actor who is 57 years old and has been doing this for a long time, there is something incredibly exciting about being associated with a young filmmaker who has created something very special,” Nelson told da Ivo, a restaurant in Venice that had been recommended. to him by his “O Brother” co-star George Clooney, who held his bachelor party the.

For a supporting player like Nelson, who recently appeared in HBO’s “Watchmen” lead roles like “Old Henry” are rare. Still, Nelson is humble about the promotion. If anything, it just means he’s taking more responsibility for getting the movie seen.

“It’s tricky because when you’re a character actor who’s been in a lot of movies, people tend to inflate your worth,” Nelson said. “They think, ‘Oh, if he’s in my movie, then I can get funding or critical attention.’ In fact, they are wrong, because there are a lot of character actors. I always say I’m not some sort of quick fix.

And although films in Venice are dominated by stars like Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Penélope Cruz, who may make the headlines just for what they wear on the red carpet, Nelson does not harbor such illusions.

“I’m wearing an outfit my wife chooses,” Nelson told me, pulling the cuff of his black jacket. “Because I forgot to pack two blazers, we actually bought this jacket today, two blocks from here.”

So, yes, Tim Blake Nelson is headlining a movie at one of the most glamorous film festivals on the planet, but no, he’s not going back to his room at the Excelsior Hotel to find a Free Tom Ford tuxedo sent by a stylist.

“I wish that!” he laughs. “That would be great. But you know, I’m not saying that spuriously: no one is already sent me costumes. And there were no offers for it. Nothing.”

Nelson smiles. “I’m not complaining,” he said. “It’s just that we’re a bit of a minnow. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Venice Film Festival: Tim Blake Nelson takes the lead. Someone sends him a tuxedo.
Venice Film Festival: Tim Blake Nelson takes the lead. Someone sends him a tuxedo.
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