The Venice film festival marked its 75th anniversary Wednesday with a sparkling opening gala and world premiere of British psychological drama "Atonement" starring Keira Knightley.
An evening of pomp and fireworks saw Knightley take to the red carpet along with co-stars James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave, plus their youthful director Joe White.
Also on hand were compatriot Kenneth Branagh and the stars of his detective thriller "Sleuth," Michael Caine and Jude Law.
Tony Gilroy, director of the legal drama "Michael Clayton" starring George Clooney, was there, but Clooney himself was not expected to make his entrance until Thursday.
"Atonement," based on the best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, follows the consequences of an impressionable girl's tragic misreading of events at an upper-class English home in the years leading up to World War II.