French abortion drama ‘Happening’ tops Venice Film Festival

Audrey Diwan’s 1960s abortion drama “L’Evenement” (“Happening”) won the Golden Lion at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, while the runner up honor went to Paolo Sorrentino’s semi-autobiographical “The Hand” of God.”

Diwan’s movie over a French university student who finds himself with an unwanted pregnancy was the unanimous choice of the prestigious jury, including recent Oscar winners Bong Joon Ho and Chloé Zhao.

The competition this year was robust, including well-received films like Jane Campion’s “The Power” of the dog,” Pedro Almodóvars “Parallel Mothers”, Maggie Gyllenhaals “The Lost Daughter” and “The Hand” of God.” Twenty-one movies competed for the prize, die has become a promising early indicator of Oscar prospects of a movie.

“I did this movie with fury. I did it movie with wish also. I did it with my belly, my guts, my heart, my head’ said Diwan on Saturday. “L wanted ‘Happens’ to a . to be experience.”

Diwan is the sixth wife die has directed a Golden Lion-winning film. Others include Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), Margarethe Von Trotta (“Marianne & Juliane”), Agnès Varda (“Vagabond”), Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding) and Sofia Coppola (“Somewhere”).

Sorrentino’s “The Hand” of God,” based on a formative personal tragedy, took the silver while Campion won the silver lion for best director for her period epic “The power of her dog.” It’s her second gain time a runner-up prize in Venice. Her first used to be in 1990 for “An Angel at My Table”, a Janet Frame biopic.

“It’s great to have a award yours people’ said Campion, speaking to the jury die stood next to her. “You have” made the bar very, very high for me in cinema, Bong, Chloe.”

Penelope Cruz won the Volpi Cup for best actress for her performance like a new mother in The “parallel mothers” of Almodovar. She thanked her director and frequent employee for “Inspires me every day with your quest for truth.”

“You created magic” again and I couldn’t be more satisfying of proud to be a part of it,” Cruz continued. “I adore you.”

Gyllenhaal won best screenplay for hair adjustment of Elena Ferrante’s 2008 novel “The Lost Daughter”, which is both her first screenplay and film like a director.

“I can not tell you how glad I’m here,” Gyllenhaal said. “I was married in Italy, in apulia. l found out I was pregnant with mine second daughter in Italy. And really my life as a director and writer and my film was born here in this theatre.”

Gyllenhaal said her movie is “Italian” in his bones” even if it is shot in Greece and in the English language.

“In a way if women we were born in an agreement to remain silent and Ferrante has die agreement broken,” Gyllenhaal said. “I had the same feeling when I saw ‘The Piano’ when I… in secondary school.”

John Arcilla was awarded met the Volpi Cup for best actor for “At Work: The Missing 8.”

The festival has in the past decade re-established itself as the preeminent launch pad for rewards hopeful. Zhao’s “Nomad Land” won the prize last year and went on until win best image, best director and best actor at the Oscars. Besides Zhao and Bong, who served as chairman, the jury also including actors Sarah Gadon and Cynthia Erivo and directors Saverio Costanzo (“My Brilliant Friend”) and Alexander Nanau (“Collective”).

Zhao’s trajectory was the second time in four years that the Golden Lion winner has won best image. Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape” of Water” shared a similar path. Venice 2019 winner, “Joker”, just went on to get 10 Oscar nods including one for best image.

Don’t win the top prize in Venice doesn’t end an Oscar campaign however before it starts. Many eventual winners just went in premiere at the festival, and not always even in the competition before you win best photo (“Birdman” and “Spotlight”) of best director (Damien Chazelle for “La La Land”, Alfonso Cuarón for “Gravity” and “Roma”, del Toro for “The form of Water” and Alejandro G. Iñarritu for “Birdman”).

Some of this yearThe greatest premieres were not part of the competition, including “The Last Duel” by Ridley Scott, “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve and Edgar Wright’s “Last Night” in Soho.”

In the Horizons section, which highlights emerging filmmakers, Laurynas Bareisa’s “Pilgrims” won best image. The actor award went to Piseth Chhun of “White Building” and actress by Laure Calamy for “A square temps”, what? also won best director for Eric Grind.

The award ceremony closes the first big film festival of the autumn season that has proved a thunderous one so far success, despite the delta variant. the COVID safety protocols were strict and the films strong.

But Venice also successfully brought the glamour back to a red carpet die maybe was less busy than usual, but made up for in viral moments, from a teasingly tender embrace between co-stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain to the red carpet debut of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck – although it might should to be called debut redo since the two rekindled a romance die ended 18 years ago.


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