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Intolerable Cruelty creates frenzy at Venice

Story by: Jack Foley

GEORGE Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones brought some Hollywood glitz to The Lido in Venice, as part of this year's Venice Film Festival, as they arrived by boat to promote their latest film, the Coen brothers' new screwball romantic comedy, Intolerable Cruelty.

The hotly-anticipated movie was given a warm reception by critics after being premiered as 'a work in progress' and could well boost Clooney's Box Office profile after a string of relative duds (in financial terms).

Fans screamed with delight as the two stars arrived for a special press conference, while photographers jostled for position to get the perfect shot.

One Italian comedienne was even able to interrupt the press conference to ask for the 42-year-old actor's hand in marriage - no doubt spurred on by the fact that several tabloid papers have been reporting that the former ER star has confessed to finding it difficult to attract a girlfriend.

Intolerable Cruelty finds Clooney portraying Miles Massey, a highly successful Los Angeles divorce attorney, who meets his match in professional husband hunter Marylin, played by Zeta-Jones.

As the two battle it out in the divorce courts, they find they cannot help being attracted to each other.

Oscar-winner, Zeta-Jones described her character in the film as 'the eye of the storm, or a tornado, unaware of what chaos she can create', but said she was not classically 'bitchy' as she wanted people to like her.

Geoffrey Rush and Billy Bob Thornton also make hilarious cameos in the film.

"You can't really underplay the characters, there's nothing subtle about a Joel and Ethan script," said Clooney, who has previously teamed up with the Coens for the brilliant comedy, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The film is being shown out of competition at the world's oldest film festival.

Twenty pictures are facing off for the Golden Lion, which will be awarded on Saturday.

Picture caption: George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones lit up the Venice Lido with a show-stopping entrance by boat at The Venice Film Festival for the first ever public screening of their latest movie Intolerable Cruelty, directed by The Coen Brothers. Picture by Pascal le Segretain

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