UPDATE: Lav Diaz’s The Woman Who Left scooped the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice Film Festival tonight, while Tom Ford’s noir thriller Nocturnal Animals was triumphant in the director’s return to the Lido after 2009’s A Single Man. The best-reviewed film of the two weeks, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, danced its way to a Best Actress Volpi Cup for Emma Stone.
Spreading the wealth, Sam Mendes’ jury gave the screenwriting prize to Noah Oppenheim for Pablo Larrain’s raved-about Jackie, a study of Jackie Kennedy as played by Natalie Portman in the days after the assassination of John F Kennedy.
All told, this was a good night for films that have already entered the awards conversation and a somewhat more commercial band of winners than we’ve seen in recent years when Best Picture Oscar winners Spotlight and Birdman were overlooked here.
Filipino director Diaz’ drama, The Woman Who Left, is one of the less commercial propositions. It clocks in at 226 minutes and centers on a woman who has spent 30 years in prison. Wrongly convicted of the crime, she is released and settles into a new life after a friend admits to framing her. It’s inspired by a Tolstoy short, God Sees The Truth But Waits. Diaz’ A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery — at 485 minutes — won the Silver Bear in Berlin last year. Mendes said, “We’re here to encourage people to come to the cinema to see original films.”
The full list of winners announced tonight is below; I’ll be back with some words from the jury.
PREVIOUS The awards ceremony for the Venice Film Festival 2016 is just getting started in the Sala Grande. The jury, led by Sam Mendes, has a rich roster of movies to choose from this year. Among the best reviewed have been Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival and Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time.
Among the offshore titles that have played to acclaim are Argentine dramedy El Ciudadano Ilustre (The Distinguished Citizen) from Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat; and French pics Stephane Brizé’s Une Vie and François Ozon’s Frantz.
Venice juries can be fickle and sometimes the best reviewed movies leave the Lido empty-handed — as was the case recently with eventual Best Picture Oscar winners Spotlight and Birdman. But some are predicting this could be a big year here for Hollywood. We’ll know more in just a bit. The winners will be updated below as they are announced:
The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz
Grand Jury Prize:
Nocturnal Animals, dir: Tom Ford
Silver Lion, Best Director:
Amat Escalante, La Region Salvaje
Andrei Konchalovsky, Paradise
Volpi Cup, Best Actress:
Emma Stone, La La Land
Volpi Cup, Best Actor:
Oscar Martinez, El Ciudadano Ilustre
Noah Oppenheim, Jackie
Special Jury Prize:
The Bad Batch, dir: Ana Lily Amirpour
Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress:
Paula Beer, Frantz
Liberami, dir: Federica Di Giacomo
Fien Troch, Home
Special Jury Prize:
Big Big World, dir: Reha Erdem
Ruth Diaz, The Fury Of A Patient Man
Nuno Lopes, Sao Jorge
Wang Bing, Bitter Money
Best Short Film:
La Voz Perdida, dir: Marcelo Martinessi
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film:
The Last Of Us, dir: Ala Eddine Slim
Break-Up – The Man With The Balloons, dir: Marco Ferreri
Best Documentary on Cinema:
Le Concours, dir: Claire Simon