Los Angeles Times

Affleck Wins Venice Acting Prize


Ben Affleck's widely praised turn as early "Superman" star George Reeves may not have helped "Hollywoodland" claim the box office top prize, but the performance won a major award over the weekend at the Venice Film Festival.

The "Good Will Hunting" screenwriting Oscar-winner won the Coppa Volpi as best male actor when the Venice awards were announced, joining "The Queen" star Helen Mirren, who took the Coppa Volpi for best female actor.

While the acting awards went to those high profile English-language entries, the Golden Lion for best film went to Jia Zhangke's "Still Life," a Chinese film about the dispossessed residents of a village flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.

The Venice jury was headed by Catherine Deneuve and included Jose Juan Bigas Luna, Paulo Branco, Cameron Crowe, Chulpan Khamatova, Park Chan-wook and Michele Placido.

The jury gave a Silver Lion for best director to Alain Resnais for "Private Fears in Public Places" and a second Silver Lion to Emanuele Crialese for "Nuovomondo -- Golden Door." In addition, a special jury prize was presented to Mahamat-Saleh Haroun for "Daratt."

"The Queen," directed by Stephen Frears, was Venice's only twice-honored film. Peter Morgan received screenplay laurels, joining Mirren on the podium.

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