Venice Film Fest 2007: Lust, Caution Top Award, Blanchett and Pitt Acting Kudos

Ang Lee’s controversial new film, “Lust, Caution” was awarded the Golden Lion at the 64th Venice film festival on Saturday. This is Lee’s second Golden Lion win in three years. In 2005 “Brokeback Mountain” also won the Golden Lion and for this reason, many considered him a long shot this year. “Lust, Caution” also divided critics, but reportedly was a unanimous jury choice.

Brad Pitt won best actor his role as Jesse James in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” Pitt’s win was also a bit of an upset as his co-star Casey Affleck had been the rumored to be the favorite.

Cate Blanchett won the actress for her role for her portrayal of one of the six Dylan roles in Todd Haynes’ much-publicized Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There.” The Haynes picture tied for a special jury prize with Abdellatif Kechiche’s “The Secret of the Grain,” from France. This was yet another controversial category as festival rules had to be modified in order for both films to win.

Brian De Palma won the Silver Lion for director for “Redacted,” which tells the true story of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers. Most festival insiders expected Paul Haggis’ similarly themed political film, “In the Valley of Elah,” to take the honors, but the Haggis film did not win anything.