'Il Divo' takes office

Political biopic leads with 16 Donatello noms

Paolo Sorrentino's political biopic "Il Divo" and Matteo Garrone's organized-crime thriller "Gomorrah" dominated Thursday's nominations for Italy's David di Donatello Awards, capturing 27 between them.

The films have earned many awards during the past year, starting with the 2008 Festival de Cannes, where they took the Jury Prize and Grand Prix, respectively.

"Gomorrah" has gained more attention internationally, earning a foreign-language Golden Globe nomination and being selected as Italy's official Oscar entry. But "Il Divo" can boast the most noms for Italy's highest film honors with 16, compared with 11 for "Gomorrah." An Italian film can be eligible in a maximum of 19 Donatello categories.

Both titles were included in the best film category. Fausto Brizzi's romance "Ex," Paolo Virzi's comedy "Her Whole Life Ahead" and Giulio Manfredonia's comedy "You Can Do It" round out the field.

Sorrentino, Garrone, Brizzi and Manfredonia were nominated for best director, as was Pupi Avati for "Giovanna's Father."

Tony Servillo, who will receive a career achievement award at this summer's Locarno Film Festival, was nominated for best actor for playing iconic former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in "Il Divo." He'll compete against Luca Argentero ("Diverso da Chi?"), Claudio Bisio ("You Can Do It"), Valerio Mastandrea ("Don't Think About It") and Silvio Orlando ("Giovanna's Father").

Best actress is the only major category in which neither "Il Divo" nor "Gomorrah" received a nom. The nominees are Alba Rohrwacher ("Giovanna's Father"), Ilaria Occhini ("Black Sea"), Valeria Golino ("The Prize"), Claudia Gerini ("Diverso da Chi?") and Donatella Finocchiaro ("Galantuomini").

The Donatellos ceremony will take place May 8. (partialdiff)