Monday, April 22, 2024

“The Master” Sweeps Venice Film Festival, Sort of


Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” won and didn’t win the Venice Film Festival tonight. “The Master” won best director and each of its actors–Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix–won best actor. Even the score won an award.

The film apparently was supposed to win Best Picture, and did on the jury’s first ballot. But some kind of infighting over a film not getting too many awards meant a last minute change. The Golden Lion–Best Picture–was taken away from “The Master” and given to a Korean film that no one in the United States will ever see.

This may be just as well. The Venice Film Festival is known for giving out odd awards to films and actors that are never again acknowledged. So maybe losing the Golden Lion is a better prize. Nevertheless, “The Master” is a serious awards contender from here on out.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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