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?


RC said...

thanks for posting these - and explaining the cub & the brian, etc.

I don't know that I've heard of the Brian given at this festival before - what an interesting botique award.

Luke said...

I just can't get excited about Barney's Version! Giamatti is such a cartoon, I don't know how to take it. Plus, how can a man with that haircut have gotten Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike?!


Luke -- it's the magic of the man-pandering movie! a long long tradition wherein the schlub ALWAYS gets the hottest chicks.

James T said...

Rational Atheists? Isn't that like a plead to be taken seriously and not as some angry, fanatically antireligious people? Why not let their actions speak for themselves and isn't that title kind of contratidictive? Isn't it like saying "Christian groups should also use that way to show that they're not fanatics"?

off-topic (not that I was on topic before): Have you not decided on a grade for Easy A or have you just not included it yet?


haven't decide but it's a thumbs up.

James T said...

Nice :)
Seems like I'll enjoy that movie a lot.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Golden Lion for Somewhere! That's a surprise!

principessa1121 said...

@NicksFlickPicks Really? Are there any news about the other awards? I can't really find any... :(

Unknown said...

Best Actor - Vincent Gallo for "Essential Killing"
Best Actress - Ariane Labed for "Attenberg"
Marcello Mastroianni Award - Mila Kunis for "Black Swan"

Jorge Rodrigues said...

SOMEWHERE! Oh how I have laughed at the screen when I read this decision!

It's like Tarantino saying, "well let's pick the movie which has less to do with both my filmography and my taste in movies" :D

But this should help Coppola and her campaign, shouldn't it?

Jorge Rodrigues said...

But then again, Tarantino said once he had loved LOST IN TRANSLATION, so this shouldn't be such a surprise!

Jorge Rodrigues said...

But talk about some doubtful choices...

Vincent Gallo... Ariane Labed... "Somewhere"... Hmm.

James T said...

Unanimous? Really? Everyone wanted it to win? Weird.

Jessica Lucille said...

I am positively ecstatic for Sofia Coppola and 'Somewhere' and since it was unanimous there shouldn't be any claims of bias or whatever because of her old relationship with Tarantino. Also, how great for Mila Kunis!

Portman, Black Swan and Arnofsky walking away empty handed is not a surprise to me at all. I have felt all along that Black Swan would be more hype than actually well received by critics and it lookss like I was correct.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to see Somehwre and Mila Kunis get attention, especially since she's been written off in most reviews. I wonder if this role will lead to her pulling an Angelina Jolie on Natalie at the Oscars a la Girl, Interrupted.

Taylor said...

You have to remember with Natalie and Mila though that Venice acting winners aren't necessarily who Oscar is going to love for nominations. Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James anyone?

Caroline said...

Not surprised, as I thought Mila Kunis looked a lot more interesting in The Black Swan (Portman has always been kind of one-sided). But Coppola winning for Somewhere.....Quentin Tarantino used to date Sofia Coppola....conflict of interest??? Just kidding, I'm sure he wouldn't stoop to that. Nevertheless, I have only heard mixed reviews about it, so I find her win interesting....

Deus Ex Machina said...

I think Tarantino wants Sofia back! and what a way to woo her! they dated, right?

Alex said...

Finally some buzzy news for "Somewhere"! Hope it doesn't stop here.

cal roth said...

I don't like the idea of Sofia getting her Golden Lion from her ex-boyfriend. It cheapens the award? Same thing last year in Cannes, when Isabelle Huppert gave the Golden Palm to her longtime friend and director Michael Haneke. Weird.

cal roth said...

I'm rooting hard for Giamatti this year without having seen the movie because he is a terrific actor AND Best Actor really needs to be awarded to a work in comedy. We don't a have a lead comic performance winning since Nicholson and Benigni!

In Best actress that last was Paltrow, I think.

Then, I declare this the comedy year. Let's all campaign and root for comedies. Comedies are movies, too, and they can be great, so why not to award them and their actors? I mean, in leading categories!


agreed Cal, so let's give the Oscar to your favorite Annette Bening. ;)

cal roth said...

Haven't seen the movie, but I am all for Bening winning if she is really great this time and not only trying badly to channel divas that were 10.000 times better than her.

She has a good shot, I think. Best Actress is slightly more kind to comedy than Best Actor. Lets' see

Actor: 0
Actress: 0

Actor: 2 (Forrest Gump is drama, right?)
Actress: 3

Actor: 0
Actress: 1

Actor: 2
Actress: 3 (Liza is comedy, I Think)

Actor: 1
Actress: 2

Actor: 2
Actress: 2

Then I don't know many of the winning turns...

/3rtfu11 said...

I can’t stand that Coppola won that prize. Tarantino not jumping on Black Swan or Black Venus has me wondering if he’s losing his touch in evaluating other peoples’ material.

PS to keep things clear – I appreciate Sofia’s cameo in Madonna’s “Deeper and Deeper” video and I love Lost in Translation; and didn’t hate Marie Antoinette. Greatly dislike The Virgin Suicides due to the misleading trailer from the good people at Paramount Classics.

cal roth said...

He's not "losing his touch". He gave the Golden Palm to Michael Moore and the GP to Park Chan Wook! How can it be worse now?

Jason Santel said...

Imagining Mila Kunis in a Quentin Tarantino is twice as orgasmic as imagining Mila Kunis in Black Swan... and boy does Black Swan get me going. He must cast her now.