Tag Archives: Tom Ford

2017 Writers Guild Awards Screenplay Nominations Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year’s Writers Guild Screenplay Awards Nominations were announced today, Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, under strict eligibility parameters as follows:

“Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2016 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Writers Guild of Ireland, Writers’ Guild of South Africa, New Zealand Writers Guild, Film Writers’ Association (India), La Guilde Francaise des Scénaristes (France), Scriptwriters Guild of Israel, Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma (Québec), or Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD/Germany), collectively known as affiliate Guilds. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for Writers Guild Awards consideration. Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2016. Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild to be eligible for awards consideration.”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water, Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films

La La Land, Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate

Loving, Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features

Manchester by the Sea, Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions

Moonlight, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures

Deadpool, Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Fences, Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures

Hidden Figures, Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Nocturnal Animals, Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios

Command and Control, Telescript by Robert Kenner & Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films

Zero Days, Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 19, 2017, in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom. For more information about the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, please visit http://www.wga.org or http://www.wgaeast.org.
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TOM FORD, MARC PLATT AND KENNETH LONERGAN TO BE HONORED AT THE 20th ANNUAL HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS®

Ford to Receive the “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” 

Platt to Be Awarded the “Hollywood Producer Award”

Lonergan will Accept the “Hollywood Screenwriter Award”

*James Corden Will Host Special Anniversary Ceremony on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Hollywood, CA (October 19, 2016) – dick clark productions announced today that acclaimed new director and established fashion designer Tom Ford will receive this year’s “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” for “Nocturnal Animals,” Academy Award-nominated producer Marc Platt will receive the “Hollywood Producer Award” for his numerous films this year including “La La Land,” “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” and “The Girl on the Train,” and two-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan will receive the “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” for his screenplay “Manchester by the Sea” at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.

The awards ceremony, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the official launch of the awards season®, will be hosted by actor and comedian James Corden, and will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 6, 2016. The Hollywood Film Awards honors some of the most acclaimed films and actors, as well as artists in Cinematography, Visual Effects, Film Composing, Costume Design, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Makeup & Hairstyling. Its honorees over the past 20 years have included the world’s biggest stars and more than 110 have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and/or wins.

Mr. Ford’s second film “Nocturnal Animals,” the hauntingly romantic thriller that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves. The film premiered at the 73rd annual Venice Film Festival in 2016, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Focus Features will release “Nocturnal Animals” in select cities beginning November 18th and nationwide on December 9th.

Tom Ford is a highly respected and successful fashion designer and film director. One of the most esteemed and prolific designers of his generation, Mr. Ford has won numerous awards for his distinguished work at Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and his eponymous luxury brand TOM FORD, which launched in 2005. That same year, he formed his Los Angeles-based film production company Fade To Black through which he directed, produced and co-wrote his first feature film “A Single Man,” starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.  The film premiered at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival in 2009, where Mr. Firth was awarded Best Actor for his performance.  The critically acclaimed film went on to receive multiple awards and nominations including the Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Marc Platt’s producing career spans film, theatre and television with his projects garnering a combined 17 Oscar nominations, 18 Tony nominations, 17 Golden Globe nominations and 29 Emmy nominations. His films this year are “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” “The Girl on the Train,” and “La La Land.” Last year, Platt received a “Best Picture” Oscar nomination for “Bridge of Spies,” which was among the six earned for the film overall. Other credits include “Into the Woods,” “Drive,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “Wanted,” “Nine,” “2 Guns,” “Cop Out,” “Ricki and the Flash,” “Legally Blonde,” “Legally Blonde 2,” “Honey,” “Josie and the Pussycats” and Disney’s upcoming “Mary Poppins Returns.”  He produced Broadway’s blockbuster musical, “Wicked,” and for television he earned an Emmy Award for executive producing “Grease Live!” and an Emmy and Golden Globe awards for HBO’s “Empire Falls.”  Prior to becoming an independent producer, Platt served as president of production for three movie studios — Orion, TriStar and Universal.

Kenneth Lonergan wrote and directed “You Can Count On Me” (2000 Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Nominee for Best Screenplay), “Margaret” (2011), and “Margaret” – Extended Edition (2012). He also co-wrote the screenplays for “Analyze This” (1999) and “Gangs Of New York” (2002 WGA® and Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay). Lonergan’s plays include Tony nominated “This Is Our Youth” (1996), Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Waverly Gallery” (2000), and Olivier Award nominated “Lobby Hero” (2001). He recently completed the television adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel, “Howards End,” for the BBC. His upcoming film, “Manchester by the Sea,” which he both wrote and directed, stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler.  The film premiered to great acclaim at the 2016 Sundance, Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, and will be released by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions on November 18, 2016.

Previously announced honorees for this year’s show include: “Hollywood Career Achievement Award,” Eddie Murphy; “Hollywood Actor Award,” Tom Hanks; “Hollywood Blockbuster Award,” “The Jungle Book”; “Hollywood Animation Award,” “Zootopia”; “Hollywood Cinematography Award,” Linus Sandgren; “Hollywood Film Composer Award,” Mychael Danna; “Hollywood Editor Award,” John Gilbert; “Hollywood Visual Effects Award,” Stephane Ceretti and Richard Bluff; “Hollywood Sound Award,” Christopher Boyes and Frank Eulner; “Hollywood Costume Design Award,” Albert Wolsky; “Hollywood Make Up & Hair Styling Award,” Shane Thomas, Angela Conte, Bec Taylor and Noriko Waztanabe; and “Hollywood Production Design Award,” Wynn Thomas.

(Source: Hollywood Awards Press Release)

Highlights From Tom Ford’s TIFF Interview About His New Film, “Nocturnal Animals”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Anjli Patel

Nocturnal Animals, the second feature length film directed by Tom Ford, centers on a man’s cathartic, vengeful healing process in the aftermath of a great love lost. Taking the form of a story-within-a-story, Ford employs precise visuals — a skill mastered in his day job as a fashion designer — to segue from one story to the other.

Set simultaneously in the upper echelons of Los Angeles and barren West Texas, these distinct backdrops symbolize the great divide that Susan, Amy Adams’ art dealer character, perceives between her and Edward, her novelist ex-husband played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Susan’s inability to reconcile her needs and desires is the cause of her unhappiness and the couple’s demise. However, nearly two decades later when she has long since moved on with her life, Susan is forced to come to terms with that relationship when she unexpectedly receives a novel written by Edward and dedicated to her.

The film is emotionally gripping and at times difficult to watch, a departure from the melancholy A Single Man, Ford’s directorial debut, which seven years ago also premiered in North America at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Last week following the second screening of Nocturnal Animals, Ford sat down with Cameron Bailey, the artistic director of TIFF, to discuss the film at length. Below are highlights from their conversation.

Ford on the role of style in his films:

“I think because of my other life [as a fashion designer] people usually gravitate to style. In filmmaking unless [style] serves a purpose and helps tell the story, it’s not important. Substance is for me what’s important.”

Ford on the take home message of the film:

“When you find someone in your life, someone that’s important to you, someone who you connect to, don’t let them go. Hold on.”

Ford on fueling consumption:

“Style really has to serve a character, and so there is a real purpose for Susan’s very pristine, cold life. I think it’s something that our society and our culture constantly tells you, ‘this is going to make you happy; you’ll be happy if you have this, you’ll be happy if you have that’ and in my other life I am one of those people responsible for doing that, but I’m very divided about it. I grew up in New Mexico in a much simpler way. Whenever I can, I escape to my house there, to the desert, to the sky, and I feel much more in touch with the earth, and the planet, and why we’re here. And so it is something that I struggle with.”

Ford on the West Texas narrative in the film:

“I have a couple of lives. I grew up in Texas. I know West Texas very well. I have so many cousins there. I lead a life in Los Angeles, in London, but I also have a ranch in New Mexico. I ride horses, I have cattle, I know that world very well, and what I wanted to do was contrast those two worlds — Susan’s slick, cold world is colored in a way that is very blue-toned, it’s very cold. Yet when we have color in her world, it’s quite sharp and quite garish, whereas the inner novel is green, the colors are different, they’re deeper, they’re richer, and then of course her flashback. I think often when many of us remember the past, it’s very vivid and warm because we have a tendency, at least I do, to remember the past in a nostalgic way.”

Ford on Amy Adams:

“Editing Amy, there is not a bad take, a bad moment. She does so much with her face, she is a spectacular actress. … I would say [Amy is] one of the best actresses working today who can tell — she telegraphs with her face what she’s feeling. And I find Amy’s eyes incredibly soulful. … If you know Amy and look into her eyes, you can’t help but feel something, and I wanted that to really come through in the part of Susan.”

Ford on the art in the opening scene:

“All of the art in the film is real. The original artists let us use their work. I usually don’t like a film about the art world where the art is fake because somehow it doesn’t have the same emotion that real art does. [The art in the opening scene] is the one and only piece of art that I created because I had to imagine myself, ‘okay, I’m an artist, and what is it that I want to say.’ I’ve lived in Europe for the last 27 years, so I decided, ‘alright, I’ll tell a European perspective of where America is today.’

I think America used to be thought of as kind of a country of beautiful, tanned, tits and ass, Farah Fawcett in a little red swimsuit, all teeth and hair, and I think a lot of the world today thinks of America as gluttonous, overfed, aging, decaying in a sense. And that was my original intention, which is why these women are wearing little bits and pieces of Americana. So I wanted to create a sort of absurd, conceptual art because Amy then later says everything is junk, our culture is junk.

However, that completely changed. I shot these women — they were the most beautiful people. They were so free, they were so excited, they were so happy, they were so joyful, and I fell in love with them. I fell in love with everything about them. And I realized after I shot them that in a sense they were a microcosm of what I was trying to say about the world. … They’re so glad to be here, and it’s because they have let go of our perception of what they’re supposed to be, and that is what is trapping Amy’s character Susan — she’s trying so hard to be what she thinks she is supposed to be, and she’s miserable. And these women were so joyful because they’ve let go of that. They’ve let go of this idea of what we’re supposed to be. And so [the art] became something quite different in the film.”

(Source: http://www.papermag.com)

Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com

FILM REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals (Ford, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

 

Fashion Designer and Film Director Tom premiered his new film, Nocturnal Animals, at the Sala Grande Theater during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Nocturnal Animals received the Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize (generally considered runner-up to the Golden Lion – Best Film). This was Ford’s second feature film. His first film was the critically acclaimed, A Single Man (2009) starring Colin Firth. Firth receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his efforts.

 

Nocturnal Animals, is a tale of redemption, revenge, love and cruelty. Ford opens the film with a strong musical score to reveal rotund, morbidly obese girls dancing topless upon pedestals seemingly pretending to be debutantes. Adding to the fanfare special effect confetti drops down and through the frame. All-American girls showcasing their goods and talents. Bordering on the macabre, the tone for the film has been set.

 

Hollywood, A-lister Amy Adams plays a real-life West Texas debutante, Susan Morrow, who lives an unfulfilling life of daunting privilege with her handsome husband, Hutton Morrow, played by Armie Hammer. As Hutton prepares for yet another last-minute weekend high-finance business meeting in New York relationship fissures widen. A pensive Susan reflects on the state of her union with Hutton after a ‘not-so-discreet’ phone conversation from Hutton’s elevator arriving at a penthouse suite amid feminine gaiety as she opens a plain, white, mail shipping box. Susan opens the box to a black and white manuscript titled, “Nocturnal Animals,” by Edward Sheffield, Susan’s former husband and first true love.

 

In dramatic fashion, Ford begins a journey into the past yet grounded in the present as the manuscript opens up a world fictional, yet etched within Susan’s consciousness. Using parallel storylines, present and fictional coupled with flashbacks to when Edward and Susan first met and the ensuing courtship and short-lived marriage. Laura Linney, plays Susan’s West Texas Republican mother, and delivers some of the film’s more memorable lines during a martini lunch where she unleashes her verbal diatribe lambasting Susan for even considering a marriage to “weak’ Edward. Notwithstanding, however, the real storytelling takes place within the pages of the manuscript. Self-reflective and dramatic the narrative is full of conflict and escalating tensions as a husband and wife, Tony and Laura Hastings, played respectively by Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher, travel at night across rural West Texas with their teenage daughter, India, played by Ellie Bamber. Without even as much as a lit billboard, out of a pitch dark blackness a vehicle approaches the family’s suburban mid-sized car at a high-rate of speed. The car is driven erratically and its occupants are behaving wildly as they pass. Not too much to worry about until they decide to force the Hastings car off the road. Mayhem ensues as the hellions carjack the Hastings vehicle with the women inside leaving Tony on the side of the road in the dark by his lonesome. Soon a vehicle returns to pick up Tony. He’s informed he gang leader wants to make amends and that Laura and India want Tony brought to where they are being held hostage. Fearing the worst Tony manages to escape and eventually makes his way to a law enforcement office to make an abduction/missing persons report to lawman Bobby Andes, played by Michael Shannon. Susan is shocked and awed at the power of Edward’s writing and the visceral strength of Edward’s character, Tony. By the end of the manuscript, Susan’s life perspective has shifted as she and Edward make plans to meet.

Unquestionably, Ford delivers an emotional and psychological thriller with Nocturnal Animals. Superb acting, exquisite production values and strong storytelling are the film’s hallmarks. Shane Valentino (Straight Outta Compton) handled the film’s production design. Seamus McGarvey (Godzilla, Atonement, The Avengers) provided the cinematography. Costuming was assembled by Arianne Phillips (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma). Abel Korzeniowski (A Single Man, We) orchestrated the music. Along with directing Ford takes a screenplay writing credit along with Austin Wright, the author of “Tony and Susan,”  for writing the novel the film is based on. Nevertheless, the Casting Director, Francine Maisler (The Revenant, Birdman, The Big Short, 12 Years a Slave) and performances by the actors are above and beyond. This is a Don’t Miss film waiting for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominations. The Oscars.

TRAILER: Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals

From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in Nocturnal Animals.

A Focus Features presentation of a Fade To Black production. A Tom Ford Film. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal. Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen. Casting by Francine Maisler, CSA. Costume Designer, Arianne Phillips. Music, Abel Korzeniowski. Film Editor, Joan Sobel, ACE. Production Designer, Shane Valentino. Director of Photography, Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC. Co-Producer, Diane L. Sabatini. Based upon the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. Produced by Tom Ford, p.g.a., Robert Salerno, p.g.a. Screenplay by Tom Ford. Directed by Tom Ford. A Focus Features Release.

(Excerpt from Nocturnal Animals Press Notes)

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
(ctr l-r.) Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon star as Tony Hastings and Bobby Andes in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Philippine revenge drama wins Venice Film Festival’s top prize

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Agnieszka Flak | VENICE

A nearly four-hour long movie about a woman’s thirst for revenge and her feelings of forgiveness after 30 years in jail for a crime she did not commit won the Venice Film Festival’s top prize on Saturday.

Director Lav Diaz has described “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (“The Woman Who Left”) as a testimony to the struggles of the Philippines after centuries of colonial rule.

“This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle, for the struggle of humanity,” the 57-year-old said as he accepted the Golden Lion award for his black-and-white movie.

 

Diaz, who at the Berlin Film Festival in February had premiered a film that ran over eight hours, said he hoped the latest recognition would create more appreciation for longer movies.

“Cinema is still very young, you can still push it,” he said.

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-3-12-07-pm
Director Lav Diaz, center, poses with actress Charo Santos-Concio, left, and actor John lLoyd Cruz, right, as they attend the photo call for the movie Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, September 9, 2016. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Alesandro Bianchi)
 

Twenty U.S. and international movies featuring top Hollywood talent and auteur directors were in competition at the world’s oldest film festival, in its 73rd outing this year. The event is seen as a launching pad for the industry’s award season.

All the movies that won awards were examples of directors’ “lack of compromise, (their) imagination, original vision, daring, and a kind of pure identity,” said Sam Mendes, known for directing James Bond movies “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, who headed the jury. “It’s taken me out of my comfort zone.”

Mendes said he hoped the awards would help the films get distributed.

The runner-up Grand Jury prize went to Tom Ford’s thriller “Nocturnal Animals”, the second feature by the celebrated fashion designer.

The Best Director award was shared by Russia’s Andrei Konchalovsky for the Holocaust drama “Rai” (“Paradise”) and Mexico’s Amat Escalante for “La Region Salvaje” (“The Untamed”).

Commenting on Escalante’s drama, which opens with a naked woman being pleasured by a tentacled creature, jury member and Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas said the movie affected all the judges emotionally.

“We liked the lack of sentimentalism. We felt he really took risks making the film. It’s a film that pushes the medium forward,” he said.

American Emma Stone took the Best Actress prize for her role in the musical “La La Land” and Argentine actor Oscar Martinez was named Best Actor for his performance in the comedy-drama “El Ciudadano Ilustre” (“The Distinguished Citizen”).

German actress Paula Beer received the Marcello Mastroianni Award acknowledging an emerging performer, for her role in post-war drama “Frantz”.

Noah Oppenheim took the best screenplay award for his work on Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie”, about first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of the assassination of her husband U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The special jury prize went to Ana Lily Amirpour’s cannibal-survivor fairytale “The Bad Batch”. While the film earned mixed reviews, the jury appreciated its spirit.

“Someone has made a very individual, very personal vision, whatever you think of it; that alone, the act of making that film is astonishing,” Mendes said.

(Additional reporting by Sarah Mills and Hanna Rantala, Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Richard Chang)

(Source: http://www.reuters.com)

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema/Hazel Orencio

Wrap Up: 73rd Venice International Film Festival Continues to Mesmerize

 

I attended my first Venice International Film Festival at the Cinema del Palazzo complex in Lido this year from the Pre-Opening Night event August 30th through Closing Night September 10th, 2016 as an accredited media entity.

 

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world with a history dating to 1932. This year was the 73rd edition showing little signs of its age. Steeped in glamor and tradition, the festival remains a testament to the cinematic arts with its viewing venues and its programming.

 

 

Set in Lido with a plethora of screens each only a score or two steps away, these hallowed cinema grounds created a magical setting  adorned with cafes, raised walkways, and abundance of shade trees.

 

 

 

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Last night and final view of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

The real magic, however, took place inside the cinema!

 

Leading the way were the spell-binding performances of Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman in Planetarium from Director Rebecca Zlotowski.

 

Rebecca Zlotowski
Planetarium Director, Rebecca Zlotowski. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

 

Award-winning, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, took home the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize  for Best Film.  Nocturnal Animals captured my eye and imagination with it’s captivating story lines, exceptionally rich, mise-en-scen and wildly, powerful acting. Damien Chazelle and crew mesmerized audiences with their dazzling La La Land.  The lovely Emma Stone received the Best Actress Silver Lion Volpi Cup for her heartful, soul-revealing performance as Mia.

 

 

 

 

35016-awards_ceremony_-_red_carpet_-_ang_babaeng_humayo_-_film_delegation_-_la_biennale_di_venezia_-_foto_asac
Director Lav Diaz, left, with Ang Babaeng Humayo film delegation at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

 

This year’s Golden Lion for Best Film went to Lav Diaz for his painstaking drama, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), an epic story with a runtime of 226 minutes. The film follows one woman rediscovering her homeland after a 30 year stay in a correctional facility.

For a complete list of winners click here.

 

Other noteworthy films, not already mentioned, included: Paradise, a Russian Federation film, set amidst the Nazi WWII reign of terror (Director Andrei Konchalovsky garnered Silver Lion for Best Director for his Paradise efforts); Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, winner of the 5th Green Drop Award awarded by Green Cross Italy to films that bring attention to the values of ecology and sustainable development; Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s portrait of the iconic First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Noah Oppenheim won Best Screenplay for Jackie); and Orecchie, a Biennale College – Cinema Production, directed by Alessandro Aronadio and produced by Costanza Coldagelli.

 

 

A special note of thanks to this year’s ushers for their efforts in ensuring my safety and well-being at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Until next year, Ciao’!

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Ushers at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

 

*Featured photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee

Official Awards of the 73rd Venice Film Festival

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Director Lav Diaz receives Golden Lion for Best Film for Ang Babaeng Humayo. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

VENEZIA 73

The Venezia 73 Jury, chaired by Sam Mendes and comprised of Laurie Anderson, Gemma Arterton, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Nina Hoss, Chiara Mastroianni, Joshua Oppenheimer, Lorenzo Vigas and Zhao Wei having viewed all 20 films in competition, has decided as follows:
GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
ANG BABAENG HUMAYO (THE WOMAN WHO LEFT)
by Lav Diaz  (Philippines) with a run time of 226m.
 
SILVER LION – GRAND JURY PRIZE to:
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
by Tom Ford (USA)
 
SILVER LION – AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR ex-aequo to:
Andrei Konchalovsky
for the film PARADISE (Russian Federation, Germany)
Amat Escalante
for the film LA REGIÓN SALVAJE (THE UNTAMED)
(Mexico, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland)
COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actress:
Emma Stone
in the film LA LA LAND by Damien Chazelle (USA)
 
COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actor:
Oscar Martínez
in the film EL CIUDADANO ILUSTRE by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat
(Argentina, Spain)
 
AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
Noah Oppenheim
for the film JACKIE by Pablo Larraín (UK)
 
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
THE BAD BATCH by Ana Lily Amirpour (USA)
 
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actress to:
Paula Beer
in the film FRANTZ by François Ozon (France, Germany)
LION OF THE FUTURE
“LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jury at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, chaired by Kim Rossi Stuart  and comprised of Rosa Bosch, Brady Corbet, Pilar López de Ayala and Serge Toubiana, has decided to award:
LION OF THE FUTURE
“LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM to:
Akher Wahed Fina (The Last of Us) by Ala Eddine Slim
(Tunisia, Qatar, U.A.E., Lebanon)
VENICE INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS WEEK
as well as a prize of 100,000 USD, donated by Filmauro of Aurelio and Luigi De Laurentiis to be divided equally between director and producer.
 
ORIZZONTI AWARDS
The Orizzonti Jury of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, chaired by Robert Guédiguian and composed of  Jim Hoberman, Nelly Karim, Valentina Lodovini, Moon So-ri, José María (Chema) Prado and Chaitanya Tamhane  after screening the 32 films in competition has decided to award:
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST FILM to:
LIBERAMI  by Federica Di Giacomo (Italy, France)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
Fien Troch
for HOME (Belgium)
the SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE to:
KOCA DÜNYA (BIG BIG WORLD)
by Reha Erdem (Turkey)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS to:
Ruth Díazin the filmTARDE PARA LA IRA by Raúl Arévalo (Spain)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR to:
Nuno Lopes in the film  SÃO JORGE by Marco Martins (Portugal, France)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
KU QIAN (BITTER MONEY) by Wang Bing (France, Hong Kong)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM to:
LA VOZ PERDIDA by Marcelo Martinessi (Paraguay, Venezuela, Cuba)
 
the VENICE SHORT FILM NOMINATION FOR THE
EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2016 to:
AMALIMBO by Juan Pablo Libossart (Sweden, Estonia)
VENICE CLASSICS AWARDS
The Venice Classics Jury, chaired by Roberto Andò composed of 25 students of Cinema History, chosen in particular from the professors of 12 Italian Dams university programmes and from the Venice University of Ca’ Foscari, has decided to award:
the VENICE CLASSICS AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY ON CINEMA to:
LE CONCOURS  by Claire Simon (France)
the VENICE CLASSICS AWARD FOR BEST RESTORED FILM to:
BREAK UP – L’UOMO DEI CINQUE PALLONI by Marco Ferreri
(1963 and 1967, Italy, France)
 
GOLDEN LION FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 2016 to:
JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO
JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI
 
JAEGER-LECOULTRE GLORY TO THE FILMMAKER AWARD 2016 to:
Amir Naderi
PERSOL TRIBUTE TO VISIONARY TALENT AWARD 2016 to:
Liev Schreiber
L’ORÉAL PARIS PER IL CINEMA AWARD to:
Matilde Gioli
la Biennale
(Source:www.labiennale.org)

Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals

From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in Nocturnal Animals.

Susan Morrow (portrayed by Ms. Adams) lives an incredibly privileged yet unfulfilled life with her husband Hutton Morrow (Armie Hammer). One weekend, as Hutton departs on one of his too-frequent business trips, Susan receives an unsolicited package that has been left in her mailbox. It is a novel, “Nocturnal Animals,” written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Mr. Gyllenhaal), with whom she has had no contact for years. Edward’s note accompanying the manuscript encourages Susan to read the work and then to contact him during his visit to the city. Alone at night, in bed, Susan begins reading. The novel is dedicated to her…

…but its content is violent and devastating, as Edward tells the tale of Tony Hastings (also portrayed by Mr. Gyllenhaal). Driving across a lonely stretch of Texas one night, Tony and his family are harassed by a trio of joyriders, and forced off the road into a confrontation initiated by the gang’s ringleader, the disturbingly insinuating Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Tony is all but powerless to act as his family is kidnapped and he is left stranded. When day breaks, Tony manages to reach the police for help, and laconic Lieutenant Bobby Andes (Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon) takes on the case. Andes forges a strong connection with the distraught Tony, and dedicates himself to pursuing the suspects once Tony’s worst fears are realized…

Moved by Edward’s writing, Susan cannot help but reminisce over the most private moments from her own love story with the author. Trying to look within herself and beyond the glossy surface of the life and career that she has made, Susan increasingly interprets the book as a tale of revenge, a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made, and re-awakens a love that she feared was lost – as the story builds to a reckoning that will define both the novel’s hero and her own.

 

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(l-r.) Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon star as Tony Hastings and Bobby Andes in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

 

This is a beautifully shot film. With credits being overlaid, the spectacular opening sequence, complete with confetti special effects, not only sets the tone for a splendid cinematic experience, it also provides psychological value into Amy Adams’ character, Susan while illuminating the film’s contextual structure and framework. Furthermore, I can’t say, I’ve seen a better cast film. Jake Gyllenhaal continues to expand his acting repertoire as Edward. Michael Shannon turns in a powerful, tour de force performance as a cancer-striken Texas lawman. Laura Linney nails the role of aristocratic mother to Adam’s Susan – delivering a few of the film’s most memorable lines. But the actor that caught my attention above and beyond was Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a wild, log-haired, maniaical, hellion leading the vicious roadside assault inside Edward’s novel. In addition, Armie Hammer, Isla Fisher, Michael Sheen, Andrea Riseborough, and Karl Glusman all give compelling performances. My hat off to Francine Maisler for her casting.

For a second directorial effort, Ford makes a phenomenal leap. His first effort, A Single Man, starring Colin Firth, is an exceptionally solid film. Most enjoyable with considerable depth. Notwithstanding, Nocturnal Animals is a whole other beast – it’s powerful storytelling with strong production values encapsulated in a style that spans genres utilizing techniques in the form of cross-cutting, parallel story lines, flashbacks and real-time moments without confusion. Brilliant work!

A must see film…

 

A Focus Features presentation of a Fade To Black production. A Tom Ford Film. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal. Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen. Casting by Francine Maisler, CSA. Costume Designer, Arianne Phillips. Music, Abel Korzeniowski. Film Editor, Joan Sobel, ACE. Production Designer, Shane Valentino. Director of Photography, Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC. Co-Producer, Diane L. Sabatini. Based upon the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. Produced by Tom Ford, p.g.a., Robert Salerno, p.g.a. Screenplay by Tom Ford. Directed by Tom Ford. A Focus Features Release.

(Excerpt from Nocturnal Animals Press Notes)

 

Why the Venice Film Fest Matters More to Oscar (Sorry, Toronto)

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Ariston Anderson

After premiering three major Academy Award winners in a row, the world’s oldest film fest is once again Hollywood’s awards-season launchpad.

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The past few years, while Toronto bickered with Telluride over which festival could screen which premiere when and where, Venice — after some decidedly lackluster editions — took the high road and worked on improving. The result? It’s back on top after a scorecard that saw successful Oscar wins for Venice premieres three years in a row: Gravity, Birdman and, last year, Spotlight. Hollywood has taken notice. The festival is filled with studio titles this year, which means the red carpet will be filled with A-list talent. The four premieres that already are garnering awards buzz:

La La Land’s Oscar Launch

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With Venice proving to be a good luck charm at the Oscars, one young contender seems to be taking the hint. Damien Chazelle is following up his 2014 best picture nominee Whiplash with festival opener La La Land. The musical stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Emma Stone). The Venice committee, after watching the film, immediately offered Lionsgate the opening slot. “I was so honored to get the invitation to open Venice,” says Chazelle. “It’s the kind of place that seems to belong in a dream. That’s the feeling I wanted to capture with this movie: the way things look and sound in a dream, the magic and the romance of it all.”

Chazelle adds that it was a natural choice to follow up his critically acclaimed Whiplash with the challenging genre of the musical. “The thing I love about musicals is that everything is possible. You can combine all the arts — music, dance, painting, theater —  to collectively produce an emotion that can’t be conveyed by words,” he says. “I wanted to try and make a film that told an honest, intimate story but also allowed for that kind of big-screen moviemaking.”

Festival director Alberto Barbera believes that the film, a tribute to old Hollywood musicals, is a natural candidate for the Oscars. “It has all the elements,” he says. “It’s a wonderful story, a classic film. It’s extremely well done with two outstanding lead performances. You have to go back to the ’60s and ’70s to see something that is similar to those performances. It has beautiful music, beautiful dance performances. Everything in the film is definitely outstanding.”

While Lionsgate is planning a big launch at the festival, unfortunately Gosling will not be present, as he couldn’t escape filming duties for Blade Runner 2. Stone will be back in Venice after her 2014 success with Birdman led her to an Oscar nomination.

Mel’s Big Comeback

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After a public meltdown of epic proportions, Mel Gibson retreated from the spotlight, putting his work behind the camera on hold. Now Venice is premiering his first directorial effort since Apocalypto (2006). Never one to retreat from challenging topics, Gibson explores the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, in the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge.

“The movie is special,” says Stuart Ford, CEO of IM Global, which co-financed the film, putting up approximately half of the budget. “Audiences can look forward to a picture that is both an old-school, action-packed wartime epic and also an intelligent and very moving present day statement on the nature of conflict and forgiveness.”

Barbera firmly believes the film marks Gibson’s comeback. “There is a high expectation of course after the previous films and all the issues around his bizarre attitude. I didn’t know what I was going to say when I saw the film,” he says. “I was quite surprised because it is a beautiful, classic war film about a courageous hero and the capability to put one’s own life before others. I think it’s proved that he’s a really great director and I hope that it will forgive some mistakes that he did and some unacceptable behaviors in the past.”

Paolo Sorrentino’s TV Debut

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It’s not just films that are having their moment in Venice. HBO’s launch of Olive Kitteridge in Venice led it to pick up eight Emmy awards last year. As more and more acclaimed cinema directors make the leap into longform TV, all eyes will be on Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino’s TV debut The Young Pope, starring Jude Law as a fictional American pope who is conservative, politically conniving, and incredibly self-reflective. The production is a joint effort of HBO, Sky and Canal Plus.

The Young Pope is a 10-part series but at the same time is a collection of 10 movies, each of them with Sorrentino’s unique flair and enthusiasm in innovating visual storytelling, featuring an inimitable top-notch technical and quality style and starring an outstanding international cast,” says Andrea Scrosati, executive vp programming of Sky Italia says. “So there could not be a more suitable venue than the Venice Film Festival to premiere the first two episodes of this show, and this choice confirms, if any additional proof were needed, that the distinction between cinema and television no longer exists: It all comes down to storytelling.”

FremantleMedia International, which is handling sales, has, not surprisingly, already begun closing deals ahead of the Venice launch. “Jude Law plays a hyper-contemporary and conservative pope, revolutionary, a fundamentalist who goes through life with an absolute faith and devotion to God,” says Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of FremantleMedia Italy. “And all the while he continuously poses to himself and to us the question we are all compelled to ask at least once in our lives: What do we mean exactly when we talk about faith and God? Stories and themes like these inevitably involve a wide audience from each country.”

Sorrentino agrees with the potential wide appeal of the series. “Beyond the interest for the Vatican, a closed and mysterious place, the series turns its attention to the Vatican’s inhabitants,” he says. “I think that the audience, regardless of where they’re from, will be captivated by the human and spiritual lives of these people.”

And with the American election coming up, Sorrentino believes that the candidates could also heed the advice of The Young Pope. “There is always danger around the corner,” he says. “The private biography of a leader can influence his choices for the collective interest of the people and that these choices could be dangerous and ineffective.”

Focus Features’ $20 Million Gamble

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Last year, Focus Features paid a reported $20 million for Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s sophomore directorial effort.

Now, Focus is planning on betting a big chunk of their Oscar-campaign money on the dark romance based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan and starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. Adams plays an art gallery owner who receives her ex-husband’s violent manuscript in the mail, which she interprets as a threatening tale of revenge and regret. It plays out as a story within a story as Isla Fisher plays Adams in novel form.

Could the L.A.-set noir finally deliver Amy Adams and/or Jake Gyllenhaal their long-awaited Oscars? Focus hopes so, with many more categories to push for. “The film will be one of the highlights of Venice,” says Barbera. “Both Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal could start an Oscar campaign from Venice, definitely.”

 

(Source:www.hollywoodreporter.com)