You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Matteo Garrone’s ‘Dogman’ Leads Davids Awards Race

With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low.

Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with 13 noms by Mario Martone’s “Capri Revolution,” about early 20th-century proto-hippies, and by Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” (released late in Italy), and Paolo Sorrentino’s Berlusconi biopic “Loro,” both with 12 noms. Sorrentino however, unlike his colleagues, is not in the running for best picture or director.

Then comes Alice Rohrwacher’s pastoral fable on the ills of modernity “Happy as Lazzaro” and also police brutality drama “On My Skin” by newcomer Alessio Cremonini, both with nine noms and running in the main categories. Valeria Golino’s sibling bonding drama “Euphoria,” which is also running for both best picture and director, weighed in at seven.

The foreign film nod will go to Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which was released by Netflix in Italian cinemas.

“What emerged this year was great auteur cinema,” says Piera Detassis, the nods’ new president and artistic director. “With all their limitations, the David Awards reflect what is happening in Italian cinema,” she adds, noting that “this year those were the Italian movies that travelled.”

Detassis and many others in the Italian industry are pleased to point out that for the first time ever two women directors, Rohrwacher and Golino, are in the running for the top nods. This is due at least in part to a radical structural overhaul (see Q&A interview).

The changes include a new prize for the Italian pic that scored the most box office admissions, won by Gabriele Muccino’s ensemble dramedy “There Is No Place Like Home,” which totalled 1.43 million tickets, marking a major comeback for the Italian director who made a splash in Hollywood with Will Smith-starrers “Pursuit of Happyness” and “Seven Pounds.” Muccino in a Facebook post made no bones about being miffed that he only scored three nominations, saying he felt snubbed by his colleagues.

Undoubtedly Muccino deserves recognition for luring Italians into theaters in a year when total ticket sales plunged below 90 million for the first time in a decade. The start of 2019 hasn’t been encouraging either, with a roughly 10% dip in January and February compared with the same period in 2018.

That’s why the Davids will be plugging a new joint effort called Moviement to lure more local moviegoers into theaters during the summer months when Italians traditionally hit the beach en masse. It’s an “important initiative supported by the government, in particular by Culture Ministry Undersecretary Lucia Borgonzoni,” says Detassis “and I’m glad to be part of it.”

“We have to try and change Italian moviegoing habits,” she adds. This is “an important goal for the Davids themselves, to integrate them even more within the industry.”

More Film

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

  • Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    'Last Black Man in San Francisco' Star Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    Jimmie Fails, co-writer and star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” has signed with CAA for representation. The drama, inspired by Fails’ own life, had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge described the film as “a gorgeous and touchingly idealistic [...]

  • Stuck

    Film Review: 'Stuck'

    A stalled New York City subway carriage serves as a toe-tapping musical Petri dish for six socioeconomically diverse souls in the unique stage-to-screen musical adaptation “Stuck.” Sharing a stylistic template with its 2016 left-coast cousin “La La Land” (which it predated Off-Broadway by a good four years), the film’s 2017 copyright suggests a missed opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content