Saturday, September 11, 2010

Venice Awards: Somewhere, Black Swan, Barney's Version, Miral

Festivals tend to have more than one jury so let's deal with the sidebar prizes first, before we get to the main competition jury, headed by Quentin Tarantino. But a little preview: Natalie Portman went home empty-handed for Black Swank but Mila Kunis didn't. Interesssssssting.

Various Sidebars

Europa Cinema Award: This honor comes from the Venice Days sidebar and the winning film was Bertrand Blier's Le Bruit des Glacons (The Clink of the Ice), a dark French comedy about an alcoholic dealing with cancer.

The Queer Lion: This prize focuses on the way films portray gay characters and themes. The winner was En el futuro (In the Future), a 62 minute black and white film directed by Mauro Andrizzi. None of the summaries seem to tell you what it's about. Hmmmm. It played in the Orizzonti sidebar of the festival. Guess they didn't like the disturbing sapphic tryst angle of Black Swan all that much.

Brian Award: Here's another highly specialized honor. This award was chosen by the "Italian Union of Rational Atheists and Agnostics." The winning film was Roberta Torre's I Baci Mai Dati (The Kisses Never Given) about a poverty stricken girl who performs miracles.

Golden Lion Cub: This is not to be confused with the top prize which is called The Golden Lion. The Cub is voted on by "schoolchildren" -- of which age I do not know -- and was given to Richard J Lewis's adaptation of the bestseller Barney's Version. Paul Giamatti plays Barney who the official synopsis calls "politically incorrect, impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt." so you know you've got a showy Best Actor Oscar contender there. Dustin Hoffman is his difficult father, Rosamund Pike his dream girl and Minnie Driver his ex-wife. Does Giamatti have another Sideways on his hands in terms of adult appeal and future awards play? And why would schoolchildren like it? Curious.

UNICEF Award: Julian Schnabel's political message movie Miral took this. The film, which opened to mixed response, looks at the Israel-Palestine problem through the life of a Palestinian orphan, played by Freida Pinto. Hiam Abbas co-stars. The film is supposed to arrive in December from the Weinsteins but it could be a hard sell given the always divisive topic. It's quite a personal project for Schabel as it's based on the book written by Schnabel's real life girlfriend, writer Rula Jebreal and his daughter Stella Schnabel also acts in the film. She's also in Basquiat and Before Night Falls.

LION OF THE FUTURE: This prize is also known as the "Luigi De Laurentiis" and the jury headed by Fatih Akin (Soul Kitchen, Head On) unanimously chose a film from Turkey by Seren Yüce called Cogunluk (Majority).

CONTRACOMPTO ITALIANO PRIZE: Aureliano's 20 Sigarette. The Italiano jury also gave a special prize to the actor Vinicio Marchioni for the same film.

Orrizonti Jury

ORIZZONTI FEATURE: The top honor went to Nicolás Pereda's Verano de Goliat
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Noël Burch and Allan Sekula's The Forgotten Space.
ORRIZONTI SHORT: Peter Tscherkassky's Coming Attractions
VENICE SHORT FILM NOMINEE: This is another short award that has something to do with putting the film in the running for the European Film Awards. It went to David O'Reilly's The External World
SPECIAL MENTION: Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas' Jean Gentil.

Tarantino's Jury. Main Competition

GOLDEN LION: The top prize went to Sofia Coppola's Hollywood story Somewhere.
BEST DIRECTOR: Alex de la Iglesia for Balada Trista de Trompeta
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Jerzy Skolimowski's Essential Killing
BEST ACTOR: Vincent Gallo for Essential Killing (It's interesting that he won. Guy Lodge at In Contention predicted him as sort of a Tarantino rebel call over more potentially Oscary players like Paul Giamatti. Well done, Guy.
BEST ACTRESS: Ariana Labed for the Greek film Attenberg

Actresses Evangelia Randou and Ariana Labed at Venice (top)
and in a film still from Attenberg (bottom)

"No Natalie Portman?!?", the American internet screams in bewilderment, as it so strangely always expects Americans to win at international ceremonies. Ariana Labed, the one in fuchsia above, plays a sexual innocent participating in an experiment with three other adults in a film that's drawing comparisons to last year's Greek festival sensation Dogtooth. Dogtooth's director is the producer and also acts in this film.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mikhail Krichman for Silent Souls (Ovsyanki) by Aleksei Fedorchenko
Alex de la Iglesia for Balada Trista de Trompeta
SPECIAL LION: This was a jury prize for "overall work" to Monte Hellman

And finally, Tarantino's jury gave the MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD which is a prize for "Young Actor of Actress" to Mila Kunis for Black Swan. Hmmm, should we expect to see the ascending Mila Kunis in the next Quentin Tarantino picture?

No comments:

Post a Comment