The Master: Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman are among its stars

The Master won the Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, and the movie’s two stars – Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman – shared the honor for best acting.

The wins seem to cement what critics and film journalists have been saying for weeks – that The Master is the movie to beat for top honors this awards season.

The Silver Lion (for directing) is the Venice festival’s second highest award. The jury – headed by Michael Mann, the American director – wanted to give both the Golden Lion for best movie and Silver Lion awards as well as the acting awards to The Master, according to the Los Angeles Times, which quoted unnamed sources close to the jury. The jury reportedly could not do that because of new rules that limit the jury to two awards per film.

Mann took plains to explain the new rules when he made the award choices public on Sunday.

The Golden Lion Award went to Pieta, an intense drama directed by South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk.

The Master did win one other honor – the FIPRESCI critics award which goes to the best film presented in competition.

Categories: Awards, Featured, Movie News

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    Eric Harrison reviewed movies and covered film for a decade for the Los Angeles Times and Houston Chronicle. His movie coverage continues here on You also can read Eric's movie coverage geared to Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, on Find out more at
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