Home Celebrity “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.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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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