The Venice film festival has wrapped and with it come those winged lions and other elaborately shaped awards. The jury led by director Michael Mann named Kim Ki Duk's Pieta the best film in competition. It's a violent mother/son drama, the son being a loan shark. Kim Ki-Duk, best known stateside for spring, summer, fall, winter and spring (2003) is no stranger to the Venice Festival having won multiple prizes for 3-Iron (2004) eight years ago.
Golden Lion (Picture) Pieta
Silver Lion (Director) & Special Jury Prize (Director) there seems to be some confusion about this as Ulrich Seidl for Paradise: Faith and Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master alternate who won what in various reports
Best Actress Hadass Yaron for Fill the Void
Best Actor (Shared) Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Screenplay Olivier Assasyas for Apres Mai (English Title: Something in the Air)
Cinematography Daniele Cipri for E Stato Il Figlio
Mastroianni Award (Young Actor) Fabrizio Falco for Dormant Beauty and It Was the Son
FIPRESCI Award (Competition) The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
FIPRESCI Award (Orizzonti) The Interval (Leonardo Di Contanzo)
Orizzonti Jury Prize Tango Libre (Frédéric Fonteyne)
Luigi De Laurentiis Award (Best First Feature) Kuf: Mold (Ali Aydin)
Orrizonti: Best Feature Three Sisters (Wang Bing)
Orizzonti Jury Prize Tango Libre (Frédéric Fonteyne)
Queer Lion Weight Jeon Kyu-Hwan
IndieWire has a full lengthy list of winners since there are dozens of special awards outside the jurisduction of the main jury (including some of those prizes above). Several of these films picked up additional prizes.
Nice to hear the name "Frédéric Fonteyne" again, since he hasn't been on my radar since directing the wonderful romantic drama Une Liaison Pornographique. His new film is about a woman in a tangled relationship with three men. Must See!
Amusingly, news reports say that Philip Seymour Hoffman flying in at the last minute, barely arrived in time to pick up the prizes on behalf of The Master and apologized for his dishevelled appearance. You mean he's been aware of it all this time?!? The double actor win reopens the whole question of Oscar campaigns again. Will they actually let both stars compete in the leading category as they should? Can The Master leap the hurdle of critical darling Oscar problems like being more "challenging" and respected than actually warmly loved? Did There Will Be Blood set the stage for another Oscar run?
I'm kind of annoyed by The Envelope's suggestion that the jury wanted to give the Golden and Silver lion and Actor honors to The Master (sweeps not being allowed at most A grade festivals, thank god). If they really thought it was the best in every category, wouldn't they have handed it the Golden Lion? Instead let's congratulate Pieta and The Master and Paradise: Faith, all three of them winners to this jury.
Toronto International Film Festival. Glenn is in Australia but he's seen Monday's premiere "Lore".
Australia isn’t a regular player in the Academy’s annual game of Best Foreign Language Film. We’ve only submitted five films prior to 2012: Clara Law’s Floating Life (1996), which I have never seen; Steve Jacobs’ La Spagnola (2001), which is fun, if slight, immigrant comedy; Rolf de Heer’s Ten Canoes (2006) a fabulous film that was the first ever filmed in native Aboriginal dialects; Tony Ayres’ The Home Song Stories (2007), which features an incredible performance by Joan Chen; and Samson & Delilah (2009), Warwick Thornton’s groundbreaking indigenous drama about two teens escaping their remote lives only to stumble upon tragedy at every turn. Thornton’s film was the closest Australia has ever come to snagging a nomination, having managed to find a spot on the nine-wide shortlist. As great as that film was, however, its hard-edged take on the plight of our country’s most troubled citizens was always going to be a tough ask for a nomination.
Much easier, I suspect, will be Cate Shortland’s Lore, which seemingly comes to us with the Oscar-nominee stamp blazoned across it. Transmission Films, the film's distributor in Australia, has officially announced that Lore will represent Australia in the Foreign Language Film category at this year’s Academy Awards. With a story involving an epic journey (!), children (!!), and WWII (!!!), it has to be considered a strong contender for the shortlist on nomination morning.
Shortland hasn't made a theatrical feature since she broke through in 2004 with Somersault, which helped launch Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington. Her latest is a finely crafted, delicate WWII drama about five children who must make their way across a divided Germany in the final days of the war after their Nazi parents are taken away. It receives a local release in two weeks time, but I saw it a couple of weeks back and was utterly captivated. It’s the best Australian film of the year (so far) for sure, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with our nation’s identity. Shortland’s knack for navigating tricky territory (a young girl’s burgeoning sexuality in Somersault, a traumatised police officer in TV movie The Silence) is at her finest here, exploring the crumbling world of these children whose affluent life is rapidly disintegrating upon the news of Hitler’s death. The final scenes are particularly pertinent as it begins to dawn on the kids – and the audience – that their lives will never be the same. They will always be Nazi children who spent their childhood in the shadow of Hitler’s rhetoric.
Wonderfully acted (especially by newcomer Saskia Rosendahl as the eldest sibling, Hannelore), expertly filmed by Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom, Snowtown), sublimely edited by Veronika Jenet (Oscar nominated for The Piano), and featuring an original score by Max Richter (Waltz with Bashir, Sarah’s Key) that is so far above and beyond the best of the year, I have no doubt you will be hearing about Lore over the next year. It’s an official Australian/German co-production with many Aussies behind the scenes, so it remains to be seen whether the Academy’s voters see it as “not Australian enough”, but it is a powerful film that would make a worthy nominee.
Its American distributor, Music Box Films, has no set date for a US release yet, but distribution could give it a bit of extra marketing muscle come awards season. Lore screened in competition at the Sydney Film Festival, won the major audience award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and has its North American premiere tomorrow at TIFF.
Devine Wrath fills out our summer report card with love for Brave and Cosmopolis among others
The Many Rantings of John also shares his summer movie crushes: Charlize's eyes, Jeremy's arms, Channing's everything...
Boy Culture Madonna endorses Obama, wears her politics on her sleeve back
PopWatch a Sex & The City for gays* called Hunting Season. *As if the original wasn't?
Cinema Blend Katey's Operation Kino podcast takes on Bachelorette. They all hated it but the discussion is interesting... the way they're forced to really grapple with their negative feelings.
Movie|Line thinks Rebel Wilson (Bachelorette, Pitch Perfect) is the most interesting person in Hollywood right now
Pajiba "the first five people I'd audition for a film about Amy Poehler & Will Arnett's marriage"
Hollywood Elsewhere Joe Wright calls Anna Karenina "a ballet with words" and claims influence from the great filmmaking team of Powell & Pressburger (The Red Shoes / Black Narcissus)
Playbill interviews Sutton Foster post Bunheads (the show has been renewed. yay!)
Awards Daily a documentary on the life of Roger Ebert by the director of his beloved Hoop Dreams. It could happen!
The Hairpin remembers Montgomery Clift's long suicide and major stardom
And finally here's the poster for David O. Russell's latest comedy (?) Silver Linings Playbook about two crazies in love.
The film is in black and white but Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's antidepressants have been cut with melange*.
What's on your cinematic mind? What movie? actor? actress? filmthing were you just dreaming about...
As soon as I get mine back together -- I have an apocalyptic headache and this (pictured left) is how I feel right now -- we'll have more capsule reviews, some festival / Oscar talk, the return of Reader of the Day, an interview with Lizzy C and more. Stay tuned.