Tornatore's 'The Best Offer' Takes Top Prizes at Italy's Donatello Honors

Hoecks and Rush in "The Best Offer"

The Oscar-winning director behind "Cinema Paradiso" is attracting attention with his latest film about an auctioneer's obsession with an heiress.

ROME – La migliore offerta (The Best Offer), an English-language film about an eccentric auctioneer’s obsession with an heiress art collector from Italian Oscar winner Giuseppe Tornatore, was the big winner at Friday’s David di Donatello awards, taking home the prizes for Best Film and Best Director, along with four smaller prizes.

The film -- which stars Geoffrey Rush in the role of the auctioneer and Sylvia Hoecks as the heiress -- outshone the latest from Tornatore’s fellow Oscar winners Bernardo Bertolucci, nominated for Io e te (Me and You) and Gabriele Salvatores, nominated for Educazione siberiana (Siberian Education), both of which had been nominated in both the Best Film and Best Director categories.

Those films were both shut out, though Daniele Vicari, whose examination of the bloody end to the 2001 G-8 summit in the Italian city of Genoa, Diaz, was also nominated in the top two categories. Diaz earned four prizes, led by the Best Producer honor for Domenico Procacci.

Reality, a Cannes jury prize-winning comedy from Matteo Garone, the only director nominated in the Best Director category this year but not for Best Film, won three secondary prizes Friday, led by Best Photography.

In addition to taking home the top two prizes Friday, La migliore offerta also earned prizes for Best Music -- to celebrated composer Ennio Morricone -- and for Best Design, Best Costumes, as well as the Young David prize.

The film, which is already creating a buzz internationally, has already been selected as Film of the Year by the Ischia Global Music & Film Fest and multiple nominations for the Nastri d'Argento (Silver Ribbons), Europe's oldest film awards.

The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young praised the film as Tornatore's "astutely written return to English-language genre film, where his Baroque excesses get worked into the plot."

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, inspired by Italy’s Spaghetti Western genre, was selected as the Best non-European Film, while Micheal Haneke’s Amour was honored as the Best European Film.  Both films earned Oscar nominations for Best Film.

Twitter: @EricJLyman