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Venice Film Festival 2016

Our Top 5

Venice Film Festival 2016 Our Top 5

In the poignant and romantic setting of Venice, the 73rd edition of the Venice Film Festival has just ended, giving us many ideas for those cozy evenings spent on cinema seats eating popcorn.

Among upcoming names and old acquaintances, we bring you the 5 best film that won at the Film Festival, waiting for them to be released in Italian cinemas.


#1 Golden Lion Best Movie: The Woman who Left, directed by Lav Diaz

The film directed by Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz won the first place, overtaking one of the favorites – the biopic Jackie, where a brilliant Natalie Portman plays the most glamorous among the first ladies. If you are fond of experimental niche cinema, and if you are inclined to accept a challenge, then this four-hours-long production is right up your street. Despite representing a big step forward by a director whose latest film - Death in the Land of Encantos - was nine hours long, The Woman Who Left is a challenging film, made of very long takes, but with beautiful photography - all in black and white - and a promising story. Set in 1997, the film's about a Filipino teacher who, after serving 30 years in prison for murder despite being innocent, decides to look for the real author of the murder. 


#2 Silver Lion Jury Grand Prize: Nocturnal Animals, directed by Tom Ford

Fashion designer turned film director Tom Ford is back with his second feature film after A Single Man. Infused with Hitchcockian inspirations, this time, Ford engages in a thriller with surreal atmospheres to portray the absurdities of our time. The film is inspired by the novel Tony and Susan, written by Austin Wright in 1993, although Ford has enjoyed giving his personal read. One day Susan (Amy Adams), an art gallery owner with a tedious life, receives from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) his latest novel, Nocturnal Animals, dedicated to her. Thus, the movie is a kind of story within the story, constantly swinging between everyday life, pain, and resignation.

Side note: all the artworks present in the film are authentic and commissioned to several artists for this production.


#3 Special Jury Prize: The Bad Batch, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

We sure were expecting great things from A Girl Walks Alone at Night's Iranian director and she didn't fail. The Bad Batch is a dystopian western, set in a post-apocalyptic universe. Just outside the borders of Texas, lies a cruel, relentless desert, a no man's land inhabited by outcasts of society. In this portion of land, where every government system collapsed, humanity is divided into two groups - the cannibals of The Bridge, and the meditative hobos of Comfort. The protagonist is a super tough Suki Waterhouse, who bounce from one camp to the other, pursuing her mission of revenge. With actors like Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves in the cast and a fantastic selection of music and images, the film is a guaranteed success.


#4 Marcello Mastroianni Prize for Young Performer: Paula Beer, Frantz

The film directed by Francois Ozon is a bit of 'a soup of all the movies, all the books, all the stories that echo in our minds. There's a bit of everything in it, the war, the son who joined the army and never came back, love and loss, love as salvation, the torment, the lies for a good purpose. Is 1919 and young German soldier Frantz is the absent protagonist looming over the whole movie despite being dead. The one killed him was Adrien, a French soldier who one day pay a visit to Frantz's family to confess what he did and pour it all out. But he fails and opens up only to Frantz's fiancée, who he falls in love with. Despite the system of references, the outcome is an intense film, marked by sharp and elegant shots.


#5 Coppa Volpi Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land

To top it up, let's introduce a film that includes one of our favorite things ever, Ryan Gosling. The musical La La Land, directed by 30-year-old Damien Chazelle, opened the festival and was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the public and critics alike. Following the love story of Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Gosling) – respectively an aspiring actress and a talented jazz musician – Chazelle explores what love means today, in a time where personal achievement and the ability to respect the other's choices and to let go of them stand as the bravest paths. Emma Stone, who already made a qualitative leap with Birdman, in this film reinforces her status of a very talented actress.