Adam Driver, Roy Andersson, Joshua Oppenheimer win Venice awards

VENICE – The 71st Venice Film Festival can hold its head high as having had its fair share of exceptional films in the 2014 Competition for Alexandre Desplat's jury to pick from. Going in, I was still kind of hoping for the Golden Lion for “Birdman,” partly because it's excellent and partly because its excellence is spread across so many categories — an amazing cast, especially Michael Keaton's lead turn, career-best direction from Alejandro G. Inarritu, cinematography that defies belief — which would have made an all-rounder award feel fair. I also hoped for a big prize for “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence” and maybe nods for “In The Basement,” “99 Homes” or “The Look Of Silence.”

In the event, the winners were as follows…

Golden Lion: “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence,” by Roy Andersson
Grand Jury Prize: “The Look Of Silence,” by Joshua Oppenheimer
Silver Lion (Best Director): Andrej Koncalovskij, “The Postman's White Nights”
Best Actor: Adam Driver in “Hungry Hearts”
Best Actress: Alba Rohrwacher in “Hungry Hearts”
Marcello Mastroianni Award (Best Young Actor): Romain Paul in “Le Dernier Coup De Marteau”
Best Screenplay: Rakhshan Banietemad and Farid Mostafavi, “Ghesseha (Tales)”
Special Jury Prize: “Sivas,” by Kaan Müjdeci

Best Film: “Court,” by Chaitanya Tamhane
Best Director: Naji Abu Nowa, “Theeb”
Special Jury Prize: “Belluscone. Una Storia Siciliana,” by Franco Maresco
Best Actor or Actress: Emir Hadžihafizbegovi? in “These Are The Rules”
Best Short Film: “Maryam,” by Sidi Saleh

Best Restored Film: “Una Giornata Particolare”, Ettore Scola
Best Documentary on Cinema: “Animata Resistenza”, Francesco Montagner and Alberto Girotto