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Friday, November 17, 2017

Dark fairy tale The Shape of Water, wins top award at Venice film fest

Monday, 11 September 2017 12:05
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Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, a dark fairy tale in which a mute cleaning lady falls in love with an aquatic creature, won the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

The film beat contenders including George Clooney’s Suburbicon and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing at the end of a 10-day, high-quality and star-studded movie marathon that critics said showed Venice was now on an equal footing with the widely revered Cannes film festival.

“As a Mexican, I want to say this is a first for a Mexican storyteller so I want to dedicate and give the prize to every young Mexican filmmaker or Latin American filmmaker that is dreaming to do something in the fantastic genre, as a fairytale, as a parable, and is faced with a lot of people saying it can’t be done. It can,” del Toro said.

The runner-up Grand Jury prize went to family tragedy Foxtrot by Israel’s Samuel Maoz, while France’s Xavier Legrand was picked as best director for his divorce drama Jusqu’a la Garde (Custody).

Charlotte Rampling received the best actress award for her performance in Italian film Hannah, while Palestinian Kamel El Basha took the best actor prize for his role in The Insult.

The award ceremony brings down the curtain on the Venice festival, the world’s oldest, which is seen as a launching pad for the industry’s award season.

Movie-makers will be hoping for a replay of the success of films such as musical La La Land, clergy sex-abuse drama Spotlight, space movie Gravity and backstage comedy Birdman, which all won Academy Awards after premiering in Venice.

“This is an incredible day for Mexican film, for Mexican storytellers. The three amigos have now conquered the Lido, with Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Alejandro Inarritu (Birdman) both going on to Oscar gold after dominating Venice,” said Ariston Anderson, a film critic at Hollywood Reporter.

“While there’s no sure bet at this stage, there couldn’t be a better start for del Toro’s road to Oscar gold. And it will be very interesting to see what happens in March at the Academy Awards if he can continue the trend of Venice picking Oscar winners,” she said.


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