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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 H e had received a Leone d'Oro for his carrier in 1982, at the Venice film Festival. Four months later George Cukor passed away in LA: he was one of the most important directors in Hollywood history, especially in the romantic comedy genre. He was nominated to the Oscars 5 times and won it in 1964 with My Fair Lady. The movie had received 12 nominations and won 8 statuettes that year, including Best Film, Actor, Director and Cinematography, but not Best Actress. It had also obtained 5 Golden Globe nominations, winning 3. It was an international success, so much so that the American Film Institute considers it one of the best 100 American movies of all times. The main interpreter in the movie — inspired by a musical brought to theaters with success by Julie Andrews in 1956 — was Audrey Mary Poppins' lesson and Julie Andrews' gates to fame From the director Hepburn, whose singing parts were, however, all dubbed. Andrews had been chosen by producer Jack Warner for mere commercial reasons: she was a star, while Julie — a true legend in Broadway — was relatively little-known in Hollywood. Considering the film's success, being excluded from it must have been hard for Andrews, the girl with an incredible 4 octaves vocal extension, the one who had sung for King George 6th and his wife Elizabeth, the parents of today's Queen, when only 13. But while reminding us about that door slammed on her face, Andrews also tells us about the gates that opened right in front of her shortly afterwards. Three months after having lost the role of Eliza Dolittle, Julie obtained that of Mary Poppins. In 1965, Julie won a Golden Globe, a Bafta and an Oscar for Best Actress for her interpretation in the homonymous movie, while Hepburn wasn't even nominated. The following year, she received another Oscar nomination and another Golden Globe for her unforgettable performance in The Sound of Music, another landmark in the world of musicals. That role in particular made her cinematic royalty. Generations of children grew up associating the face of the former child star to that of the magical nanny flying over the roofs of London. This year, at the 76th Festival del Cinema in Venice, Andrews received a Leone d'Oro for her incredible career. When introducing the prize in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema, director, screenwriter and producer Luca Guadagnino said she is "an icon of the 20th and 21st century, who manages to give a sort of olympic classicism to anything she does. She reached the highest levels in acting, dance, music, writing and political activism. Her elegance has become an absolute value. In the history of cinema, she is one and only. She is absolutely inimitable." The Festival director, Alberto Barbera, also highlighted she managed to transcend her role of family movies' icon, as demonstrated by her third Oscar nomination, which came for her double role in Victor Victoria (1982), and by a generous and multifaceted career, filled with dramatic, openly provocative or bitingly ironic roles. Her password has always been — and it should always be, when it comes to acting — evolution. Never stopping. But also resilience, a feat all the more necessary in today's world. But why are we talking about Julie Andrews, today? For two reasons: the first is that Andrews shows perfectly what "being" a Leone d'Oro means and requires. The second is the anecdote we've just described. Her lesson does not simply reside having natural talent, but also in her constant commitment and hard work, in the strength necessary to go on stage every day, in receiving day in, day out an applause when the curtain drops: the ultimate, true paycheck for every artist. Such hard work, such belief that commitment can make a difference, such faith in one's own abilities and talent, was and still is the key to success for millions of Italian who put— and have put — themselves to the test by emigrating. In their adoptive countries, they found the right conditions to capitalize on their expectations, and they sweated and toiled to reach them, in spite of prejudices and extra difficulties like not knowing the language, loneliness, the lack of a family and of a supporting social entourage, the distance from home. But that lump in your throat can be swallowed, sings Mary Poppins in the Disney classic's soundtrack: "in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and … Snap! The job's a game." We'd all want a magic wand, the object embodying our will to change things. We don't want to become magicians, but clearly, we'd love to have Mary Poppins' umbrella. Or her bag, where we could keep all that we need to make any place a home and the courage to swallow that medicine, even when there isn't any sugar. And this could also be the moral of the movie, if you think of it: we always seek support outside, but the real magic wand is within us: it's our will to change and it depends entirely on us, on our ability to realize all the dreams we keep in our bag, provided we believe in them enough. It's not a case that Mary Poppins' lesson is so similar to Julie Andrews'. In Venice, which dedicated a 10 minutes standing ovation to her, the 83 year old — who used to love singing arias in Italian when she was a girl — had a thought for all young, emerging talents out there: "I tell them to believe in their dreams and vision and to remain always faithful to them." Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS

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