Sorrentino in pole position for Globo d’oro

Less than a month after being nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) is leading the race for an Italian Golden Globe, or Globo d’oro.

Sorrentino in pole position for Globo d'oro
Paolo Sorrentino is in the running for an Italian Golden Globe. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The award will be given at a ceremony in Rome’s Farnese Palace on July 3rd, according to Italian press reports.

The awards have been hosted by Italy’s Foreign Press Association since 1960.

Other contenders include Gli Equilibristi by Ivano De Matteo and Razza Bastarda by Alessandro Gassman.

La Grande Bellezza is set in Rome and has drawn comparisons with Federico Fellini’s 1960s classic, La Dolce Vita.

Giuseppe Tornatore, who scooped an Oscar for Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, will receive a lifetime achievement award alongside Franco Zeffirelli, who directed 1968’s Romeo and Juliet.

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PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope

Dressed in white robes and other papal insignia, actor John Malkovich delighted throngs on Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican City on Thursday as he filmed a scene for Paulo Sorrentino's The New Pope series.

PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope
Is the pope? No, it's The New Pope. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Pilgrims did a double take as the bearded “pontiff” strode around, the 65-year-old going as far as to greet babies proffered for his “blessing”.

After the major success of Sorrentino's The Young Pope series, starring Jude Law, the Italian director has returned with a follow-up drama with American Malkovich as Pope John Paul III.

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The actor rode on board a black popemobile rather than the usual white variant and bodyguards were on hand just in case the enthusiasm of yellow rose-waving bystanders ever got out of hand as he left the vehicle to acknowledge them.

As well as spying Malkovich, onlookers also got to see the escort of visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite along the famed Via della Conciliazione en route to a reception with Pope Francis.

But it appeared it was the actor who got top billing as he was put through his paces for the eight-part series — a collaboration between Sky, HBO and Canal+.

Law played an ultra-conservative and machiavellian Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, a well-received ten-part series.

All photos by Vincenzo Pinto for AFP.