Ang Lee scoops top Venice prize

Lust, Caution is the surprise Golden Lion winner…

Though many of the big stars have now moved on to promoting their films at the Toronto film festival, the Venice shindig closed up shop with a controversial prize decision that split the critics as Ang Lee’s erotic spy drama Lust, Caution nabbed the Golden Lion for best film.

Brad Pitt was also a winner, grabbing Best Actor for his role in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, while Cate Blanchett was awarded best actress for her Bob Dylan portrayal in I’m Not There. Sadly for the Venice organisers, neither star was still in town, so other people got to take the stage and heft the trophies.

Brian De Palma’s Redacted – a tough fictional documentary about the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by US troops – was handed the Silver Lion.

And the Special Jury Prize, like the Golden Lion, split the board, with the trophy jointly going to I’m Not There and The Secret Of The Grain, which is a naturalist depiction of Maghrebi immigrant life in France. It says here.

"That was the only way out: the jurors were fighting like cats and dogs over these two films," Venice artistic director Marco Mueller gassed to Variety. Oh, to be a fly on that wall. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t have been that interesting. We’ll just have to imagine the hair pulling for ourselves.

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