The David di Donatello awards highlight the year’s best Italian actors, and the nominations for 2013 are:
Aniello Arena for Reality
Reality premiered at Cannes without its star, Arena, in attendance; he’s serving a life sentence in prison and was only able to appear in ‘Reality’ through a work release program. How did director Matteo Garrone find this guy? I hope he gets more opportunities to act, because he is absolutely perfect in the role of Luciano, the guy who is obsessed with Reality TV. Yet Luciano is not one-dimensional and he’s so much more than a guy who would do anything to appear on Italy’s version of Big Brother. He’s no Kim Kardashian; he’s a sweet family man who gets caught up something that ruins his whole family.
Sergio Castellitto for Una Famiglia Perfetta (A Perfect Family)
Castellitto plays a sort of Italian ‘Bad Santa’ and from the first scene, in which “Papà”, Leone tells the youngest son that he is fat, hates his glasses, and he says he doesn’t understand why he has to spend Christmas with a son who is so fat and ugly, I was horrified/mesmerized.
Roberto Herlitzka for Il Rosso e il Blu (The Red and the Blue)
I love Herlitzka and in Sette Opere di Misericordia he was terrific, but playing the older prof who ( surprise! ) is completely burned out and thinks it’s a hopeless cause in Il Rosso e il Blu is not his best work.
Luca Marinelli for Tutti i Santi Giorni
Luca Marinelli, a Berlinale Shooting Star for 2013, is wonderful as the shy brainiac who is in love with the kooky musician.
Valerio Mastandrea for Gli Equilibristi ( Balancing Act) ❤ my pick
Valerio is probably my pick for best actor this year; his performance as the stretched to the limits divorced dad in Gli Equilibristi is my favorite of his career.
Toni Servillo for Viva la Libertà
I haven’t had the chance to see this movie but Servillo is one of my favorite actors and I imagine that he’s great as a politician that flies the coop.