No wins for Italians this year at Cannes, but there is good news and bad news for Nanni Moretti (Habemus Papam) and Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be The Place).
The bad news for Nanni Moretti – a lot of the critics and reviewers were unimpressed by (and some truly disliked) Habemus Papam, but the good news: the audience loved it and they gave it a 10 minute standing ovation. In other bad news, some Catholics (not all) are boycotting it, but good news – it’s so far been distributed to 36 countries. (Bad news for me – the US isn’t one of them yet).
The bad news for Paolo Sorrentino is that he didn’t win anything, but the good news is that some critics thought that he might. And although many reviewers seemed a little weirded out by the movie, others found good in it.
In making an English language film and filming it in Ireland and in the US, Sorrentino has set the bar a little higher for Italian filmmakers, cast the nets a bit farther. Italian movies do not have to be sentimental memoirs of small town Italy. They don’t even have to be about Italy.
And they were at Cannes, arguably the most prestigious film festival in the world, and so it will bring attention to Italy and Italian filmmakers and money to their investors.
And Nanni – just keep doing what you are doing. You aren’t the “Italian Woody Allen”, as they call you (unless you are super flattered by that and like it). You are amazing all on your own.