The problem with this year’s David Di Donatello Awards? There were way too many good candidates.
The big winnersof #David2016, Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg Robot), no surprise here, Il Racconti Dei Racconti (Tale of Tales), truly deserved, and Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers), oh Hell yes!
The nominations for best film were diverse and exceptional, ranging from Gianfranco Rosi’s Berlinale winner, Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), a documentary about Italy’s immigration problems to Paolo Genovese’s modern comedy of manners, Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers). There was Garrone’s English-language retelling of old fairy tales Il Racconto Dei Racconti (Tale of Tales), Claudio Caligari’s Nastro d’Argento movie of the year, the posthumously released Non Essere Cattivo (Don’t Be Bad), and Paolo Sorrentino’s slightly surreal English-language film with all the Hollywood actors, Youth.
Not a weak link in that chain; I didn’t even try to call that one.
The winner? The film written and directed by the guy I’d just met and talked to last Saturday, (Read my interview with) Paolo Genovese! And do you know why he deserved this award? It’s a very entertaining film, of course, but that’s not all it is. It’s smart, clever, and marketable. It’s a comedy that reaches beyond Italy’s borders and establishes Genovese as a major player in Italian filmmaking. He won for best screenwriting as well, and I couldn’t agree more; his dialogue is top-rate.
All of those same guys, Rosi, Genovese, Garrone, Sorrentino and Caligari were nominated for best director, and the outcome was again a tossup, for me, anyway. So when Garrone won, it was like, “Yeah, sure! Tale of Tales was one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever seen and it ended up winning seven Davids before the evening was over, including best cinematography.
For best new director, I would have chosen Alberto Caviglia for his cutting edge lampoon of antisemitism, Pecore in Erba (Burning Love), but I guess I wasn’t surprised when the winner was Gabriele Mainetti for Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg Robot), an extremely popular superhero about a guy who comes into contact with a radioactive substance, then discovers he has superpowers.
Jeeg Robot garnered seven Davids last night, one of which was Ilenia Pastorelli for Best Actress, and this was fine with me, because I’m sure she did a great job (This is one of the rare nominated films I haven’t gotten the chance to see), the actress I consider the best of year, Greta Scarano (Suburra) got a big David Snub so I really didn’t care who won that one.
Again for Jeeg Robot, Claudio Santamaria for best actor, and he’s awesome, so good for him.
Yet again two for Jeeg, Antonia Truppo for best supporting actress, and best supporting actor was the adorable Luca Marinelli, who was absolutely amazing in Non Essere Cattivo as well.