- In a significant upset, the big winner at this year’s David di Donatello Awards, a.k.a. the Italian Oscars, was Paolo Sorrentino’s psychological drama/mafia thriller The Consequences of Love, starring Best Actor Toni Servillo and relative newcomer Olivia Magnani (Anna Magnani’s granddaughter).
- The Italian Oscars’ Best Actress was Barbora Bobulova for Sacred Heart. Among this year’s Special David recipients were veterans Mario Monicelli and Dino Risi, in addition to U.S.-media-friendly Hollywood star Tom Cruise.
Italian Oscars upset: Paolo Sorrentino’s mafia thriller The Consequences of Love is David di Donatello’s top pick
Paolo Sorrentino’s psychological drama/mafia thriller The Consequences of Love / Le conseguenze dell’amore was the surprise big winner at this year’s David di Donatello Awards, a.k.a. the Italian Oscars.
Starring Toni Servillo as a secretive businessman living in seclusion at a Swiss hotel where he becomes enamored of a sensual waitress, The Consequences of Love topped the following categories: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Servillo), Best Screenplay (Sorrentino), and Best Cinematography (Luca Bigazzi).
In her first major big-screen role, Olivia Magnani – the granddaughter of Best Actress Oscar winner Anna Magnani (The Rose Tattoo, 1955) and Massimo Serato (Man of the Sea, Outcry) – plays the hotel waitress. The 29-year-old actress was thoroughly bypassed the the Italian Academy of Cinema, failing to receive as much as a nomination.
The Keys to the House ‘snubbed’ again
Just as surprising as the Italian Oscars’ amore for The Consequences of Love was their near-absolute lack of that sentiment for The Keys to the House / Le chiavi di casa.
Italy’s submission for the Academy Awards and the Italian Film Journalists’ Nastro d’Argento winner, Gianno Amelio’s father-son drama ended up topping one single David di Donatello category: Best Sound.
Curiously, this is hardly the first time that Amelio’s well-regarded drama has been “snubbed.” Earlier this year The Keys to the House failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards and last year, much to the outrage of nativist Italian film critics, it failed to take home any of the major prizes at the Venice Film Festival.
Best Actress Barbora Bobulova
Among the Italian Oscars’ other picks were:
- Czechoslovakia-born Barbora Bobulova, named Best Actress for her portrayal of a workaholic getting in touch with her inner self in Ferzan Ozpetek’s Sacred Heart / Cuore sacro.
- Alejandro Amenábar’s Spanish-made euthanasia drama The Sea Inside / Mar adentro, named Best European Film. This year’s Goya record-breaker stars Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic fighting for the right to die.
- Clint Eastwood’s U.S.-made boxing (and euthanasia) melodrama Million Dollar Baby, named Best Foreign Film. This year’s Best Picture Oscar winner stars Hilary Swank as a boxer fighting other women on the ring and later, from a hospital bed, fighting just as determinedly for the right to die.
Special David for Dino Risi + Mario Monicelli + … Tom Cruise?
Veteran filmmakers Mario Monicelli (Big Deal on Madonna Street, The Organizer), 90, and Dino Risi (The Easy Life, Scent of a Woman), 88 – the former began his career in the mid-1930s; the latter in the mid-1940s – were both honored with Special David statuettes.
A third Special David went to 42-year-old American superstar Tom Cruise, whose film career – ranging from Top Gun to Born on the Fourth July – began nearly half a century after Monicelli’s.
But no matter. The Italian Academy knows what will catch the attention of the English-language (i.e., American) media.
Besides, how is Tom Cruise any less deserving of a Special David than Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, whose film credits include … zilch.
For the record, Ciampi’s honor was officially a thank-you statuette for “his generous and constant attention to Italian cinema.”
This year’s David di Donatello Awards ceremony was held on April 29 in Rome. Below is a partial list of the Italian Oscars’ winners and nominees.
David di Donatello Awards: Partial list of the Italian Oscars’ winners & nominees
A Children’s Story / Certi bambini.
The Keys to the House.
* The Consequences of Love.
Manual of Love / Manuale d’amore.
The Chorus / Les Choristes (France).
Head-On / Gegen die Wand (Germany | Turkey).
* The Sea Inside (Spain).
The Merchant of Venice (U.K.).
Vera Drake (U.K.).
2046 (Hong Kong).
3-Iron (South Korea).
Hotel Rwanda (U.K. | Italy | South Africa).
* Million Dollar Baby (U.S.).
Gianni Amelio – The Keys to the House.
Davide Ferrario – After Midnight / Dopo mezzanotte.
Andrea Frazzi, Antonio Frazzi – A Children’s Story.
Ferzan Ozpetek – Sacred Heart.
* Paolo Sorrentino – The Consequences of Love.
Stefano Accorsi – Provincia meccanica.
Giorgio Pasotti – After Midnight.
* Toni Servillo – The Consequences of Love.
Kim Rossi Stuart – The Keys to the House.
Luca Zingaretti – Alla luce del sole.
* Barbora Bobulova – Sacred Heart.
Sandra Ceccarelli – La Vita che vorrei.
Valentina Cervi – Provincia meccanica.
Maria de Medeiros – Il Resto di niente.
Maya Sansa – L’Amore ritrovato.
Erika Blanc – Sacred Heart.
* Margherita Buy – Manual of Love.
Lisa Gastoni – Sacred Heart.
Giovanna Mezzogiorno – L’Amore ritorna.
Galatea Ranzi – La Vita che vorrei.
Johnny Dorelli – Ma quando arrivano le ragazze?.
Silvio Muccino – Manual of Love.
Raffaele Pisu – The Consequences of Love.
Fabio Troiano – After Midnight.
* Carlo Verdone – Manual of Love.
After Midnight – Davide Ferrario.
* The Consequences of Love – Paolo Sorrentino.
The Keys to the House – Gianni Amelio, Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli.
Manual of Love – Ugo Chiti, Giovanni Veronesi.
Sacred Heart – Gianni Romoli, Ferzan Ozpetek.
* Saverio Costanzo – Private.
Paolo Franchi – The Spectator / La spettatrice.
David Grieco – Evilenko.
Stefano Mordini – Smalltown, Italy / Provincia meccanica.
Paolo Vari, Antonio Bocola – Chemical Hunger / Fame chimica.
Producer: Rosario Rinaldo – A Children’s Story.
Cinematography: The Consequences of Love – Luca Bigazzi.
Editing: A Children’s Story – Claudio M. Cutry.
Music: Ma quando arrivano le ragazze?– Riz Ortolani.
Production Design: Sacred Heart – Andrea Crisanti.
Costume Design: Il resto di niente – Daniela Ciancio.
Documentary Feature: Un Silenzio particolare – Stefano Rulli.
Special David di Donatello
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
Cecchi Gori Group.
“Italian Oscars Go to Mafia Thriller” endnotes
David di Donatello Awards website.
Olivia Magnani and Toni Servillo The Consequences of Love image: Indigo Film.
Sergio Rubini and Margherita Buy Manual of Love image: Filmauro.
“Italian Oscars Go to Mafia Thriller + Odd Hollywood Honoree” last updated in September 2021.