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September 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master

The South Korean drama Pieta has won the Golden Lion Award, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. But for director Kim Ki-duk, it was a bittersweet victory. The festival was abuzz over reports that the jury had awarded the prize to Kim’s film by default — only because it could not give it to the film that they actually preferred, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (whose title character is supposedly based on L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology). A relatively new rule, aimed at spreading out the honors, prohibits the jury from handing out more than two awards to any film. It therefore decided to bestow the more personal honors to Anderson (the Silver Lion), for best director, and to The Master‘s co-stars, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, for best actor. That apparently left Kim to receive the Golden Lion trophy, but seemingly with an asterisk attached to it forever. Israeli actress Hadas Yaron won the best actress award for her performance in the drama Fill the Void, while French filmmaker Olivier Assayas won the screenplay award for his 1970s political drama Something in the Air.