All eyes are on the Lido as the awards ceremony for the 2022 Venice Film Festival kicks off.
The official ceremony for the 79th edition began moments ago and, after one of the best festival line-ups in years, it’s anyone’s bet who will walk away with this year’s Golden Lion for best film.
The Venice Immersive line-up, which recognizes excellence in VR filmmaking, with the top, best experience award going to The Man Who Couldn’t Leave from Singing Chen. The immersive Grand Jury Prize went to From the Main Square from Brazilian director Pedro Harres, with a special jury prize for Eggscape by German Heller.
The prize for best-restored film went to 1967 Japanese crime classic Branded to Kill from Seijun Suzuki.
Fragments of Paradise from director KD Davidson, won the Venice honor for best documentary on cinema. The film follows the life of Jonas Mekas, internationally known as the “godfather” of avant-garde cinema, from his arrival in New York City as a displaced person in 1949 to his death in 2019.
The Armani Beauty Audience Award, voted on by the Venice film-going public, went to the Syrian war drama Nezouh from Soudade Kaadan.
With four films in competition this year — Noah Baumbach’s White NoiseAlejandro G. Iñárritu’s BardoAndrew Dominik’s Blondeand Romain Gavras’ Athena — Netflix is looking for a repeat of 2018, when Alfonso Cuarón’s Rome won Venice, kicking off a phenomenal awards campaign that ended a triple Oscar win for the Mexican drama. Last year, Jane Campion’s best director win in Venice for The Power of the Doganother Netflix title, also foreshadowed her Academy Award campaign, where Campion won best director.
Awards handicappers will have a close eye on the actors’ categories in Venice. Cate Blanchett, who gave a blistering performance as a classical conductor in Todd Field’s Tárand Ana de Armas, who transformed into Marilyn Monroe for Blonde, are considered the best actress frontrunners. A win tonight could kick-start their Oscar campaigns.
In the best actor race, Brendan Fraser’s much-celebrated comeback, as the lead in Darren Aronofsky’s melodrama The Whale, has attracted the most attention. However, the Canadian star has some strong competition from the likes of Timothée Chalamet, who plays a drifter and sometimes cannibal in Luca Guadagnino’s. Bones and Alland Hugh Jackman, who gave a standout performance as the father of a troubled teen in Florian Zeller’s The Son.
Julianne Moore heads the seven-member jury that will pick the 2022 Venice winners, including the Golden Lion.
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