Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence” was given the 71st annuel Venice Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize during an awards ceremony on Saturday, while “Girls” star Adam Driver was named Best Actor for his performance in “Hungry Hearts,” a drama which also earned co-star Alba Rohrwacher a Best Actress win.
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” from Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson, however, took the home the Golden Lion — the top prize at the festival.
“Look of Silence,” Oppenheimer’s follow up to Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing,” once again explores genocide in Indonesia, this time through the perspective of a family confronting the men who killed one of their brothers.
While the jury led by composer Alexandre Desplat was impressed with the documentary, TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde did not find it nearly as compelling as Oppenheimer’s previous work.
“‘The Look of Silence’ feels more like an extended DVD extra to his genre-defying previous film than a stand-alone documentary,” Duralde wrote in his review. “Once again exploring the perpetrators of the mass killings in 1960s Indonesia — in which millions of farmers, union members and intellectuals were all branded ‘communists’ and thus subject to execution — Oppenheimer mostly retells the same story through a much more conventional focus.”
Driver’s win for “Hungry Hearts” further cements the 30-year-old actor as the next big thing, as he has already been nominated for two Primetime Emmys and secured a major role in J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Wars: Episode VII,” as well as Martin Scorsese‘s “Silence.”
Driver, who was seen in theaters this summer in romantic comedy “What If,” will next be seen on the big screen in director Shawn Levy‘s star-studded Sept. 19 release, “This Is Where I Leave You.”
“Hungry Hearts,” written and directed by Saverio Costanzo (“In Treatment”), explored the relationship of a New York couple put to the test when they encounter a life or death circumstance.
Although Alejandro G. Inarritu’s highly-anticipated dark comedy “Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up superhero, opened the festival to critical acclaim, it did not receive any awards.
The Silver Lion award for Best Director went to Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky for “The Postman’s White Nights.”
Here are all the winners:
Golden Lion, Best Film: “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence,” directed by Roy Andersson (Sweden)
Silver Lion, Best Director: Andrei Konchalovsky, “The Postman’s White Nights” (Russia)
Grand Jury Prize: ‘The Look of Silence,’ directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Volpi Cup, Best Actress: Alba Rohrwacher, ‘Hungry Hearts’
Volpi Cup, Best Actor: Adam Driver in “Hungry Hearts”
Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress: Romain Paul, “Le Dernier Coup De Marteau” (France)
Best Screenplay: ‘Ghesseha,’ directed by Rakshan Banietemad (Iran)
Special Jury Prize: ‘Sivas,’ directed by Kaan Mujdeci (Turkey, Germany)
Lion of the Future — “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a debut film: ‘Court,’ directed by Chaitanya Tamhane