Olive Kitteridge – The Look of Silence – The Boxtrolls – Sivas – Tales – Hungry Hearts – Birdman

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Jurors: Alexandre Desplat (president), Joan Chen, Philip Gröning, Jessica Hausner, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sandy Powell, Tim Roth, Elia Suleiman, Carlo Verdone

Golden Lion:A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Sweden, dir. Roy Andersson
Grand Jury Prize:The Look of Silence, Denmark/Indonesia, dir. Joshua Oppenheimer
Special Jury Prize:Sivas, Turkey, dir. Kaan Müjdeci
Best Director:The Postman's White Nights, Russia, dir. Andrei Konchalovsky
Best Actress:Hungry Hearts, Alba Rohrwacher
Best Actor:Hungry Hearts, Adam Driver
Marcello Mastroianni Award:The Last Hammer Blow, Romain Paul
Best Screenplay:Tales, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
FIPRESCI Award:The Look of Silence, Denmark/Indonesia, dir. Joshua Oppenheimer
SIGNIS Award:Far from Men, France, dir. David Oelhoffen
Venice Horizons Award:Court, India, dir. Chaitanya Tamhane
Future Film Festival Digital Award:Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), USA, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Golden Lion:
The Look of Silence (Denmark/Indonesia, dir. Joshua Oppenheimer) - Confounds expectations less than The Act of Killing, but manifests equal if quieter audacity. Heroic.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden, dir. Roy Andersson) - Frontloaded with most brilliant vignettes; tapers off a bit. Such droll humanism.

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (USA, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu) - Snazzy, mock-heroic battle among sorrow and swagger, hubris and depth. Iridescent as an oil slick. Keaton its best effect.

Far from Men (France, dir. David Oelhoffen) - Short Camus tale becomes well-shot, well-paced, Stagecoachy two-man Algerian Western. Classic style, laudable clarity.

99 Homes (USA, dir. Ramin Bahrani) - Film blanc, suggesting moral rot not through deepening shadow but wispy, edge-dulling light. Bit schematic but acted well.

Red Amnesia (China, dir. Wang Xiaoshuai) - Caché-meets-The Whisperers mystery: she did something nasty in the Cultural Revolution and now, it follows. Unsettling.

Hungry Hearts (Italy, dir. Saverio Costanzo) - Hyperbolic nonsense about a young mother's unraveling. Lenses, story get increasingly distorted. Two Venice awards??

Sidebar Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
The President (Georgia, dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf) - Makhmalbaf as I've rarely met him, in bumptious tragicomic picaresque. Funny, brutal. Great lead. Winner?

Hill of Freedom (South Korea, dir. Hong Sang-soo) - Hong's latest jewel-cut doodle charms, especially amid heavy festival environment. He repeats himself but so do we.

Nabat (Azerbaijan, dir. Elcin Musaoglu Guliyev) - Vaguer on heroine's POV than you'd think, with so few folks in the film. But pained, poetic study pays other rewards.

Heaven Knows What (USA, dirs. Joshua and Benny Safdie) - Bombastic yet credible insiders' view of addicts' amour fou. Often amateurish, then suddenly assured. The music!

The Boxtrolls (UK, dirs. Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable) - Copious visual detail unwittingly makes film seem heavy. Thin plot. Characters never sparked. I just don't get Laika?

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Tales, Iran, dir. Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
The Cut, Germany, dir. Fatih Akin
Leopardi, Italy, dir. Mario Martone
Sivas, Turkey, dir. Kaan Müjdeci
The Postman's White Nights, Russia, dir. Andrei Konchalovsky
Black Souls, Italy/France, dir. Francesco Munzi
Good Kill, USA, dir. Andrew Niccol
Pasolini, France/Belgium, dir. Abel Ferrara
3 Hearts, France, dir. Benoît Jacquot
Fires on the Plain, Japan, dir. Shinya Tsukamoto
Manglehorn, USA, dir. David Gordon Green
The Price of Fame, France, dir. Xavier Beauvois
The Last Hammer Blow, France, dir. Alix Delaporte

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically
Olive Kitteridge, USA, dir. Lisa Cholodenko
In the Basement, Austria, dir. Ulrich Seidl
The Golden Era, China/Hong Kong, dir. Ann Hui
No One's Child, Serbia, dir. Vuk Rsumovic
Theeb, Jordan, dir. Naji Abu Nowar
Court, India, dir. Chaitanya Tamhane
Return to Ithaca, France, dir. Laurent Cantet
Words with Gods, Mexico/USA, dirs. Guillermo Arriaga, et al.
Cymbeline, USA, dir. Michael Almereyda
The Sound and the Fury, USA, dir. James Franco
She's Funny That Way, USA, dir. Peter Bogdanovich

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