If I ruled the word and if only the Italian films were in competition…
The ‘I Love Italian Movies’ Best Director of the Best Film Award goes without a doubt to Marco Bellocchio and Sangue Del Mio Sangue. Spectacular in its ambiguity, it’s creepy, gorgeous, horrifying and funny all at once. A nun has seduced a priest and he was apparently so ashamed that he killed himself, so in order for his twin brother (Pier Giorgio Bellocchio) to avoid burying him in the “donkey cemetery”, it must be proven that the nun is a witch. In a parallel (but not really parallel) story, a mysterious count only goes out at night.
The I Love Italian Movies Horizons Award goes to Alberto Caviglio for Pecore in Erba. Funnier, smarter, livelier than any comedy I have seen in a long time, Caviglio pulls out all the stops in this hilarious film about a boy who loves to hate and devotes his life to promoting antisemitism. You heard me; it’s a comedy.
Best Actress? We’ll let Valeria Golino keep her Coppa Volpi.
The Best Actor Award goes to Filippo Timi as the mad man who doesn’t want to lose the good thing he’s got going in Bellocchio’s Sangue Del Mio Sangue.
Funniest Performance Awards to both Bianca Nappi and Anna Ferruzzo who play the sister and mother of young Leonardo in Pecore in Erba, delighting in his celebrity and devastated by his disappearance.
The Funniest But Not Intentionally Funny Award to Ralph Fiennes in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash. Is he supposed to be funny? Amusing? Disturbed? Who can tell? I found him funny in a way I’m sure was unintended.
The Biggest Surprise Award? Gianfranco Pannone’s documentary, L’Esercito Più Piccolo Del Mondo.
Was it because I’m Catholic, or because I love Rome, or because Pannone has so skillfully and sweetly told the story of young men in today’s Vatican Swiss Guards that I have so much affection for this wonderful documentary?
Probably all of the above, with the addition of the appeal of the protagonists, exemplary young men who have just arrived at Vatican City for their training, sincere and ready to work hard (plus they just seemed like nice guys).