'Imitation Game' and 'Cake' to Bookend Italy's Capri Hollywood Fest

Imitation Game Dancing Still - H 2014
Jack English/The Weinstein Company

Imitation Game Dancing Still - H 2014

The Italian fest scores big picks on a small island

The 19th edition of Capri, Hollywood the International Film Festival will open with Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the genius mathematician who helped lead the Allies to victory in WWII. Cumberbatch is considered a top candidate for a best actor nomination for his role.

Capri, Hollywood, held on one of Italy’s most scenic islands over the new year, has become a major stop on the awards circuit, and a favorite for industry players. Three pictures vying for Academy Awards will have choice screening spots at the festival.

Along with Cumberbatch’s bid for best actor, another prime candidate making a stop in Capri is Jennifer Aniston in Daniel Barnz’s Cake. The picture, which features Aniston as a drug-addicted trauma victim, will close out the festival. Early buzz from Toronto has given the actress high hopes for a best actress nomination. “The social and cultural issues raised in the movie will be the subject of our symposiums on cinematic art and human rights,” said festival director Pascal Vicedomini on the tough subject tackled in the film.

And Italy’s own The Human Capital is hoping to score a nomination for best foreign language picture, perhaps repeating the country’s Oscar magic that last year saw Paolo Sorrentino take home the golden statuette for The Great Beauty. The Human Capital will receive the Capri European Film Award at the festival.

Paolo Virzi’s biting drama effortlessly weaves parallel stories, looking at several families from different social backgrounds simultaneously falling from grace. It’s a hard look at the recession of Italy, directed with a flawless rhythm that sets it far and above Italian cinema of today. The film, which premieres stateside Jan. 14, even beat out The Great Beauty for best picture at this year's David di Donatello awards, Italy’s version of the Oscars.

Indian film director Shekhar Kapur will serve as honorary chair of the festival. Other award recipients include David O. Russell. The 19th edition of Capri, Hollywood runs Dec. 27-Jan. 2.

Twitter: @Aristonla