Metropia – A Single Man – Lourdes – White Material – Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Lebanon – Life During Wartime

Venice Festivals by Year:
Prizes, Juries, Favorites

Other Fests: Cannes / Chicago

Stay tuned for more yearly indexes! 

Browse Films by
Title / Year / Reviews

Nick's Flick Picks
Home / Blog / E-Mail
Jurors: Ang Lee (president), Sergei Bodrov, Sandrine Bonnaire, Liliana Cavani, Joe Dante, Anurag Kashyap, Luciano Ligabue

Golden Lion:Lebanon, Israel, dir. Samuel Maoz
Special Jury Prize:Soul Kitchen, Germany/Turkey, dir. Fatih Akin
Best Director:Women Without Men, Iran, dir. Shirin Neshat
Best Actress:The Double Hour, Kseniya Rappoport
Best Actor:A Single Man, Colin Firth
Marcello Mastroianni Award:The Big Dream, Jasmine Trinca
Best Screenplay:Life During Wartime, Todd Solondz
Technical Contribution:Mr. Nobody, Sylvie Olivé (production design)
FIPRESCI Prize:Lourdes, Austria, dir. Jessica Hausner
SIGNIS Award:Lourdes, Austria, dir. Jessica Hausner
Venice Horizons Award:Clash, Philippines, dir. Pepe Diokno
Future Film Festival Digital Award:Metropia, Sweden, dir. Tarik Saleh

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Golden Lion
White Material (France, dir. Claire Denis) - Agonized and fearless, eerily sympathetic, formally electric, like the last visions of someone being burned alive

Lourdes (Austria, dir. Jessica Hausner) - Adds up to less than it could, but fab lensing, exquisite control, smart perfs, welcome sense of humor ("Best Pilgrim"!)

Lebanon (Israel, dir. Samuel Maoz) - The clanging panic and suffocation are gripping, but the dramatic structure and photography seem off. Still, strong stuff. (full review)

The Road (USA, dir. John Hillcoat) - Close transcript of novel, elevated by Mortensen and production design, though lensing feels flat; resonant moments, fuller take on wife

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans (USA, dir. Werner Herzog) - Strung between inspired dinginess and odd, indulgent flippancy; electric scenes alternate with flat patches of improv and police procedural

Women Without Men (Iran, dir. Shirin Neshat) - Mounting problems of structure and technique; daring and ambitious, though, with several strong scenes

Life During Wartime (USA, dir. Todd Solondz) - What you'd get if you watched Happiness and thought, 'I like it but I wish it were more pitiless. And uglier.' (full review)

A Single Man (USA, dir. Tom Ford) - Obvious, lumpen swipes from other films that embarrass this one; all concepts, no finesse; Hoult grievous; Firth OK but sandbagged by script

Sidebar Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
Valhalla Rising (Denmark, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn) - Refn can be an engaging poet of the body in extremis, but his structure is inert and the deadpan hard to decipher.

The Informant! (USA, dir. Steven Soderbergh) - Damon inspired. Story too weird not to be true. But Soderbergh keeps us outside the material. Frustrating. Hamlisch!

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Between Two Worlds, Sri Lanka, dir. Vimukthi Jayasundara
Lola, the Philippines, dir. Brillante Mendoza
The Double Hour, Italy, dir. Giuseppe Capotondi
Around a Small Mountain, France, dir. Jacques Rivette
Soul Kitchen, Germany, dir. Fatih Akin
Mr. Nobody, Belgium, dir. Jaco van Dormael
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, USA, dir. Werner Herzog
Persecution, France, dir. Patrice Chéreau
Capitalism: A Love Story, USA, dir. Michael Moore
Survival of the Dead, USA, dir. George Romero
Baarìa, Italy, dir. Giuseppe Tornatore

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically
Adrift, Vietnam, dir. Chuyîn Thac Bui
Clash, Philippines, dir. Pepe Diokno
The Hole, USA, dir. Joe Dante
The Last Days of Emma Blank, The Netherlands, dir. Alex van Warmerdam
Metropoia, Sweden, dir. Tarik Saleh
[Rec] 2, Spain, dirs. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza
Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, Egypt, dir. Yousry Nasrallah

Trackbacks: Permalink Venice Page 2009 Home Blog E-Mail