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'The Shape of Water' wins Venice

 by Murtada

On Saturday night President Annette Bening and her jury, announced their choices at the Venice Film Festival. Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water rode its wave of ecstatic reviews all the way to winning the biggest prize, The Golden Lion. More and a complete list of winners after the jump...

Another film that’s wooing crowds and critics at TIFF this past weekend, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won the screenplay award. However the leads of both those films - Sally Hawkins and Frances McDormand - lost best actress to Charlotte Rampling in Hannah, playing an elderly woman drifting between reality and denial when she is left alone to grapple with the consequences of her husband's imprisonment. Hawkins’ and McDormand’s Oscar buzz though, continues to grow in this year highly competitive best actress category. This “loss” won’t hinder their bright prospects.

The other major awards were won by two films that recieved critical raves. Israeli director Samuel Moaz’ Foxtrot about a couple dealing with the loss of their son to the military, won second place, Grand Jury Prize. Best director went to Frenchman Xavier Legrand for Custody a bracing drama about a divorced couple’s acrimonious custody battle. While Kamel El Basha, one of the two leads in Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri’s political courtroom drama The Insult won Best Actor. The Insult, Custody, Hannah and Foxtrot are all playing TIFF, so we hope to hear of their release plans soon. And the star of Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Charlie Plummer won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer. That film will come our way next year. 

Golden Lion: The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

Grand Jury Prize: Foxtrot,  Samuel Maoz

Silver Lion for Best Director: Xavier Legrand, Custody

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling, Hannah

Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Kamel El Basha, The Insult

Best Screenplay: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Special Jury Prize: Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete

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Reader Comments (21)

I noticed Charlotte Rampling is nowhere in the Best Actress considerations for Hannah. Isn't her film getting an American release? Her win here would seem to at least make her a possible if it is.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Seems a lot of female focused films are getting attention and with lots of possibilities for nods Chastain x 2,Stone,Ronan x 2,Robbie,McDormand,Hawkins,Rampling,Kruger,Bening,Thompson,Pike all getting good to great reviews with only 2 or 3 Actresses to be seen Streep,Winlet,Close,Williams things are looking a bit clearer.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

As of now Hawkins and Streep feels like locks, McDormand is a safe bet, and Winslet is a question mark but probably will happen. That leaves us only one slot (or two if Wonder Wheel gets panned).

So there's Ronan, Stone, Robbie, Chastain and Verga or Kruger as dark horses. I'm doubtful how far the more comedic three films will go. Teen coming of age stories usually get overlooked, no matter how strong the acclaim is (e.g. Perks of being a Wallflower, Spectacular Now). I, Tonya and Battle of Sexes seem lightweight and have overall good but not great reviews. The two foreign language actresses are on shaky ground as one is the best thing about her mixed responsed film and the other is in a more edgier film that might be hard for the Academy to embrace.

My money is on Chastain to be the fifth spot. Strong praise for the film itself by a respected and already Oscar winner like Sorkin and the actress being single out as delivery one of her best.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Jess - I agree that it feels like it will shape up that way. And Hawkins and Chastain would be the two non-winners, so it feels like one of the two would emerge the winner.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I watched the trailer for MOLLY'S GAME and judging by Molly's aesthetic in it, Jessica Chastain's bra deserves an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

I am so happy that the big festivals finally discovered Charlotte Rampling.

I've just seen a clip in which she doesn't say a single word. She buys flowers and takes them home. It could be another version of Mrs. Dalloway.

Rampling doesn't say anything, but those big eyes inform us that there is a lot happening inside her.

Please Nathaniel, we're waiting for your words on this performance.

(Now Rampling needs to win Cannes to equal Juliette Binoche and Julianne Moore)

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

UK reviews have said Chastain is miscast and like her other roles only surface level gr8.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Jess: I'm thinking:

1. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
2. Meryl Streep, The Papers
3. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel
Fight for the last
5. Rebecca Hall, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
6. Charlotte Rampling, Hannah
7. Jennifer Lawrence, mother!

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Yes, "UK reviews" like Benjamin Lee, the Guardian's second-tier New York-based film critic, do not like Molly's Game or Chastain's performance. He also hated Steve Jobs, so it's pretty obvious that he just has a bone to pick with Sorkin's dialogue. On the other hand, Screen International and The Hollywood News both praised it.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Is 'Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool' being released in December? I thought Bening was spot-on for a slot?
Will 'Hannah' now be pushed for a late December release like '45 Years' was?

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Tom - Hannah doesn't have US distribution yet. So unless it is picked up and released before end of year, Rampling isn't in contention for awards.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Is everyone just totally betting against Jennifer Lawrence now? Because the movie is too weird? I'd say do that at your own peril. The Academy LOVES her.

This year is particularly exciting and hard-to-predict because there really hasn't been a huge dud this festival season - although The Current War is getting very mediocre reviews.

I really think the only actress who has a very good shot at this point in time is Sally Hawkins. Everything after that is a crapshoot.

Ronan is getting rave reviews for Lady Bird and everyone seems to love the film. She's also gotten strong reviews for On Chesil Beach, although I have a feeling that one will be released next year, but what a year she's having so far.

And the one film I keep hearing about over and over again from TIFF is I, Tonya. Audiences really seem to love it. I could see it winning the People's Choice Award at the festival and firmly planting Margot Robbie in the mix this year. Also - supposedly Allison Janney bulldozes her way into the supporting actress race. People are obsessed with her performance!

I'm worried about Jessica Chastain because I have zero faith in her distributor: STX. They have had an absolutely dreadful past couple years with bomb after bomb (Secret in their Eyes, Valerian, etc. ). I'm hesitant of them throwing a full-fledged Oscar campaign - and I just don't know how a small, poker-themed dramatic thriller starring 2 famous, but not box-office draws will perform with audiences.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I think they will let Miss Rampling 'Hannah's for release next year.

Because... Too many good female performances this year. And no movies with the same pedigree next year. So... Rampling will be the first choice since the release of film.

By now, my five nominees would be:

Winslet - Wonder Wheel
Ronan - Lady Bird
Hawkins - The Shape of Water

Streep - The Post (only because she is nominated ofr everything)
Chastain - Woman Walks Ahead

Close - The Wife (wednesday we will know if that this good)
Stone - Battle of the Sexes

About no buzz for J Lawrence: BLESSED BE THE FRUIT! AMEN!

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon


September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Let's see how Toronto receives Hannah. Yeah, a lot of promising performances, but this one fits perfectly the British vote in a more exciting way than Victoria and Abdul. The British go for 45 Years, not Exotic Marigold movies, remember that. They are more arthouse inclined than we give them credit for.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Emma Thompson seems to be getting some buzz out of Toronto with The Children Act.
Director Eyre does great things with actresses.

I NEED her on the awards circuit more than all the others.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Sorry, Pam.

I saw The Children Act yesterday and it's unlikely Emma's going to score a nomination.

She's brilliant, but the role is too reserved, with only the third act moments of catharsis, well outside the academy wheelhouse.

September 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

Jon - echoing your delight at no buzz for J-law! Hopefully MOTHER! flops at the Box Office too, signing the cancellation of her. Cannot stand her (acting, off-screen persona, general overratedness, her stolen Oscar from Emmanuelle Riva).

September 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmma


Me too.

I like to see her on stage for a period. Doing other things. NO TRYING TO WIN ANOTHER OSCAR TO PROVE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE!

She needs become friends with Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan. This awesome british girls who do theatre and films. But know that actors needs retire a little of screen to become better actors.

September 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Jon: See, that's my problem: I don't actually think doing theatre makes you a better film actor. It somewhat refreshes your perspective by having you do something different, sure, but that can be accomplished any number of ways. You could write, whether a book or script, make music, shoot a short film, paint. For Lawrence, I'd suggest a rock band well before I suggested acting in a play.

September 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

GUILLERMITO!!!!!! GUILLERMITO!!!!!!!!!!! GUILLERMITO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

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