The Italian Schermi d’Amore festival—an outpost of the Verona Film Festival which concluded this past Sunday—honored the film with the Schermi d’Amore Rose (an audience choice award).
Translating roughly to “cinema of love”. Schermi d’Amore is a film festival dedicated to the celebration of romantic and melodramatic cinema. Says its official web site about its history, “Structured like the petals of a rose, Schermi d’Amore each year explores those aspects of the emotional universe which refer back to a single, strong root: love, in all its forms and nuances.”
“Little Ashes”, in which Rob plays surrealist painter Salvador Dali, has been the most controversial role of his career. This is certainly due to the incendiary plot, which speculates on the dynamics of an alleged romantic relationship between the painter and writer Federico Garcia Lorca. The homoeroticism alone is enough to sequester the film from the mainstream; and another area of debate has deterred historians. Whereas there is evidence to support the idea of affair between the two artists, Dali had traditionally been described as deeply in love with his wife.
Though “Bel Ami” is touted by some as Rob’s first “serious” film that features the actor in a leading dramatic role, fans of “Little Ashes” know better. Perhaps this extra layer of critical acclaim will earn Rob some of the acting cred he richly deserves.