Ang Lee's Den Of Lions
For the second time in three years, a film by Taiwanese director Ang Lee has won the top Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. His controversial Chinese-language drama Lust, Caution, which drew an NC-17 rating from the MPAA for its upcoming U.S. release, was regarded as a surprise winner. Critics had greeted it with vastly divergent reviews. Lee's victory comes two years after accepting the Golden Lion for his equally controversial Brokeback Mountain. Other winners included Brad Pitt, who received a best actor award for his performance as the famed outlaw in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Cate Blanchett, who was voted best actress for her role as the young Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There. (The film also tied for the Special Jury Prize with the French film The Secret of the Grain.) Brian De Palma received the runner-up Silver Lion award for his Iraq war drama, Redacted. Pitt received news of his surprise win at Venice while attending the Toronto Film Festival. He told the online Hollywood Today: "The nicest thing is how excited my friends are for me and ... to be amongst the lineage of people that have also been bestowed this honor. It's a really nice honor. I could try to play it down, but it's great fun."