It’s not yet October, and the fall calendar is already three film festivals in, with the current one in New York mostly playing out across virtual screenings and drive-in movie theaters. It’s refreshingly democratic, watching premieres (or a teenage Laura Dern in Smooth Talk) from the easy reach of one’s living room or car. The mood is triumphant, and the dress code casual, even for a director piped in for an onscreen appearance. Still, it’s easy to miss the usual pomp of festival proceedings—the sartorial snap to attention after an under-the-radar summer.
Last month’s Venice Film Festival—with its cautiously orchestrated red carpets and glittery faces intermittently covered by masks—was the exception. And at the center of that fanfare was Cate Blanchett, who presided over the jury. She also set a high-water mark for red-carpet beauty in this new era, with amped-up eyes and an unflappable sense of cool.