Official nominations won't be announced for two more weeks, but Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno is a serious contender for this year's Best Actress Oscar. Her role in Vincere has garnered international attention and the critical acclaim is already generating awards. Earlier this month, Mezzogiorno won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress 2010.
Vincere is a film based on the life of the woman believed to be Benito Mussolini's first wife. Mezzogiorno plays the lead role of Ida Dalser, the woman who fell in love with the future leader and presumably married him in 1914. There is no official record of the marriage, but the couple had an intense love affair just before outbreak of World War I. The dark film tells the tragic story of Ida's life, including her rumored marriage to Mussolini, the birth of their son and their separation during the first World War. When she was finally reunited with the man she loved, she discovered that he had remarried during their estrangement.
Mezzogiorno, whose parents were also respected Italian actors, is generating serious Oscar buzz for her portrayal of Ida Dalser. With one international award under her belt, the stunning actress is well on her way to representing Italian cinema at the 2011 Academy Awards.