Sorrentino, Tornatore Dominate Nominees at Europe's Oldest Film Awards

Giuseppe Tornatore

Italy's 67-year-old Nastri d'Argento Awards, to be held in July at Sicily's 2,400-year-old Teatro Antico venue, will take place with the Cannes regular and the Oscar winner in pole position.

ROME – The latest films from five-time Cannes Palme d’Or nominee Paolo Sorrentino and Oscar winner Gabrielle Tornatore were the top nominees for the 67th edition of the Nastri d'Argento (Silver Ribbons), Europe’s oldest film honors.

Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), an elegant commentary on contemporary Rome, and La migiore offerta (The Best Offer), Tornatore’s drama centered on an art auctioneer’s obsession with a wealthy art collector, earned nine nominations each.

La grande bellezza was Sorrentino’s fifth Palme d’Or-nominated feature film this month, while La Migliore Offerta earned four David di Donatello nominations for Tornatore, who directed the Best Foreign Film Oscar winner Nuovo Cinema Paradiso in 1989.

Both films were nominated in the Best Director category, along with Bella addormentata (Sleeping Beauty), a powerful euthanasia drama from Marco Bellocchio; Roberto Ando’s tense political drama Viva la liberta (Live Freedom); and Claudio Giovannesi’s Ali ha gli occhi azzurri (Ali Has Blue Eyes), a coming of age crime drama.

Sorrentino won top honors at the Nastri d'Argento a year ago for This Must be the Right Place, which starred Sean Penn as an ageing rocker.

Italian acting maestro Toni Servillo, who played a starring role in three of the five films nominated in the top category -- La grande bellezza, Bella addormentata, and Viva la liberta -- but he will not have the opportunity to add to his previous tally of six Nastri d’Argento Best Actor nominations and three victories: he was not nominated in any of the acting categories this year. 

La grande bellezza, La migiore offerta, Bella addormentata, and Viva la liberta were all nominated in the Best Screenplay category, along with Il rosso e il blu (The Red and the Blue), a high school drama directed by Giusepe Piccioni and co-written by Piccioni and Umberto Contarello.

Organizers previously announced they would honor Io e te (Me and You), a coming-of-age drama from Oscar winner Bernardo Bertolucci as film of the year and that stage star Roberto Herlitzka, who plays a supporting role in La grande bellezza, would receive a lifetime achievement honor.

Founded in 1946, the Nastri d’Argento -- voted on each year by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists -- are the second oldest film awards in the world, behind only the Oscars. They will be presented in July in the famous Teatro Antico venue in Taormina, the site of the upcoming Taormina Film Festival.

The full list of nominees is available starting from the syndicate's web site.

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