La Biennale di Venezia’s 73rd Venice Film Festival came to a close on Saturday night with an award ceremony at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido. The Venezia 73 Jury, responsible for the major awards, was headed this year by director Sam Mendes and included documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer, actress Gemma Arterton, and musician, artist, and director Laurie Anderson. They awarded the festival’s highest prize, the Golden Lion, to The Woman Who Left from Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz. The film, a black-and-white revenge drama, was not only the most honored film in competition but also the longest, clocking in at 3 hours and 46 minutes. Tom Ford won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize for Nocturnal Animals, his follow-up to A Single Man (which premiered at Venice in 2009). For his second film, Ford adapted Austin Wright’s 1993 thriller Tony and Susan; his film-festival-dream-cast includes Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Linney, and Michael Shannon.
The Silver Lion Award for Best Director was a tie this year: Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky and Mexican director Amat Escalante both won, for Paradise and The Untamed, respectively. Konchalovsky not only co-wrote Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1966 masterpiece Andrei Rublev (an Andrei triple threat) but somehow went on to direct the 1989 Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell cop film Tango & Cash. Escalante, who won the Best Director award at Cannes for 2013’s Heli, is younger—his Tango & Cash is still years away. Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, a cannibal thriller from the director of the excellent A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, won the Special Jury Prize. And Damien Chazelle’s already-acclaimed Los Angeles musical La La Land picked up yet more acclaim: Emma Stone won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress. The award was called “Le Grandi Medaglie d’Oro dell’Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo” (the Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment) when Katherine Hepburn won the very first one in 1934; for some reason the name was later changed. The Coppa Volpi for Best Actor went to Oscar Martinez (the Argentinian actor, not the American Office character) for The Distinguished Citizen.
Finally, Today Show producer/YA adaptation screenwriter Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner, The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1) took a giant leap into artistic credibility by picking up the Best Screenplay Award for his 2010 Black List script Jackie, about Jacqueline Kennedy in the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Natalie Portman starred in the film, which was directed by No’s Pablo Larraín. Here’s a complete list of the winners.