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Venice Film Festival rewind: Clooney, Winslet, Madonna and more

September 7, 2011 | 10:04 am

George Clooney at the Venice Film Festival

While Labor Day marked the end of summer for many Americans, the Venice Film Festival did the trick for some of Hollywood's most glamorous citizens, both foreign and domestic.

"Contagion" came to the canals of Italy, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso, Laurence Fishburne and director Steven Soderbergh accompanying the infectious-disease thriller.

Paltrow stunned Saturday in a flowing Prada gown, a nice bookend to George Clooney who caused hysteria when he kicked off the fest with his "Ides of March," arriving by speedboat in a tuxedo, with Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber as his guests.

Photos: Stars of the 2011 Venice International Film Festival

Gucci celebrated female filmmakers such as Madonna -- promoting her latest directorial effort, "W.E." --  in the company of her star, Abbie Cornish, plus Salma Hayek, James Franco and Robin Wright.

Jessica Chastain joined Al Pacino to introduce their collaboration, "Wilde Salome," while a brooding Gary Oldman served up "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." 

The arguable star of Venice 2011 so far, however, was Kate Winslet -- wowing in body-hugging ensembles while chatting up her Roman Polanski-directed "Carnage" and showing the Italians her turn as "Mildred Pierce." 

Also spotted, to name a few: Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Andrea Riseborough, Guy Pearce, Sarah Gadon, Vincent Cassel, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Marissa Tomei and Jet Li.

The 68th Venice Film Festival, which kicked off Aug. 31, runs through Saturday.


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-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: George Clooney arrives for the premiere of his film "The Ides of March," which opened the 68th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, on Aug. 31. Credit: Andrew Medechini / Associated Press