Venice Film Festival: Films with a Mission

DAMIEN MEYER / AFP / GETTY

They're supposed to be glittering showcases for the finest new movies from around the world, but film festivals get their juice from Hollywood's most venerable and precious commodity: stars. So on the red carpet at the 66th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica — better known as the Venice Film Festival — were Nicolas Cage, Matt Damon, Viggo Mortensen and, for a little old-fashioned glamour, Omar Sharif. Inside the Sala Grande, George Clooney introduced his new girlfriend, TV presenter Elisabetta Canalis; and when the projector broke down at a screening of his film The Men Who Stare at Goats, he entertained the audience...

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