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.