This year’s winner will be The People’s Choice.
Here are the nominees and their merits:
The 2014 Academy Award winner for best foreign film, is clearly a vital player, and even if you think that The Great Beauty and Youth were the most frivolous things you’ve ever seen, you have to admit the international impact they’ve made. He’s a regular at Cannes, and his English language films have put him on a world stage unrivaled by any other Italian filmmaker. He’s creative, innovative, and never content with the status quo.
Laura hit the Italian Cinema world like a hurricane with her exceptional Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin). For awhile there, I couldn’t log on to Facebook without seeing yet another award from film festivals all over the world she’d won for her story of Hana, the Albanian woman who renounced her femininity and lived as a man in order to enjoy the rights that men have. At the Tribeca Film Festival she won the Nora Ephron Prize, and the jury said, “We are awarding a film that is exquisite in its broadness and its intimacy, with a truly original story that touches on oppression in a way that members of this jury have rarely seen before. The film constantly surprised us and made us question our own positions through a confident, passionate, and beautifully nuanced vision that showed a real respect for the audience.”
The 2008 Berlinale Shooting Star Germano is probably not the first name that comes to an American’s mind when they think of Italian cinema, but Elio Germano is a top dog and had an amazing year. His Il Giovane Favoloso was #19 at the 2015 Italian box office (and that includes the Hollywood films), with a tender and poignant performance that garnered best actor awards at the David di Donatellos and also the Venice Film Festival and the Nastro D’Argento for best film.
He’s won a best actor award at Cannes, a Golden Globe for best actor, and his 2015 roles in Alaska and Suburra make it clear that he is at the top of his game.
When I mention Margherita Buy in Italy, many times I am met with groans, I have a feeling it’s a case of sour grapes against this prolific actress that has won more Best Actress awards than Sophia Loren in Italy. She’s over 50 and fabulous, and her groundbreaking role as a woman in a lesbian relationship in this year’s Io E Lei proves that she’s not resting on her laurels.
Nanni Moretti has been at this for a long time, and the thing that I like best about him is that he is constantly evolving and reinventing himself as a filmmaker. He’s beloved for his earlier work like Caro Diario and La Stanza Del Figlio, but the work in his more recent films including the 2015 Mia Madre are even better.
Never underestimate La Cortellesi; she’s the Lucille Ball of contemporary cinema with adorable comic performances that have made her Italy’s darling. She’s far from just a pretty face, and as she ages, she just keeps getting better and better. If you doubt her, make sure you’ve seen the 2014 Scusate Se Esisto, and then look forward to her upcoming Gli Ultimi Saranno Ultimi with Alessandro Gassman and Fabrizio Bentivoglio.
Don’t like the nominees? Let us hear yours!