Ang Lee won the Golden Lion - again - at the 64th Venice International Film Festival yesterday for Lust, Caution, a surprise win for the Taiwanese auteur over the critical favourite Le Graine Et Le Mulet directed by Abdellatif Kechiche from France.
Lee won his first Golden Lion two years ago for Brokeback Mountain but this year the prize was perhaps more meaningful given that it came from a jury of film-makers headed by his old friend Zhang Yimou.
His cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto took home an Osella for best cinematography.
Kechiche had to content himself with a special jury prize shared with Todd Haynes' I'm Not There and an award for best young actor or actress to Hafsia Herzi.
Meanwhile Brian DePalma won the Silver Lion for best director for his digital Iraq war movie Redacted.
Another surprise came in the best actor category - Brad Pitt won the Coppa Volpi for playing Jesse James in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, not Casey Affleck, as had been tipped, for his acclaimed performance as Robert Ford.
Cate Blanchett was named best actress for her virtuoso turn in I'm Not There, immediately launching her into the awards season.
Other award-winners included Paul Laverty for best screenplay for Ken Loach's It's A Free World and Nikita Mikhalkov who won a special lion for overall work.
The Horizons jury headed by Gregg Araki gave its section first prize to Veiko Ounpuu's Estonian film Autumn Ball and the doc prize to Jia Zhangke for Useless. The Lion of the Future for best first film went to Rodrigo Pla for La Zona.
Best short film went to UK actor Paddy Considine for his 16-minute drama Dog Altogether starring Peter Mullan.
The FIPRESCI critics award went to La Graine Et Le Mulet.
Venice winners in full
Golden Lion for Best Film: Lust, Caution (Se, Jie) (Ang Lee)
Silver Lion for Best Director: Brian De Palma for Redacted
Special Jury prize (ex aequo): The Secret of the Grain (Le Grain et Le Mulet) (Abdellatif Kechiche) and I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)
Coppa Volpi for best actor: Brad Pitt in the film The Assassination of
Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Coppa Volpi for best actress: Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There
Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor or actress: Hafsia Herzi for The Secret of the Grain
Osella for best cinematography: Roberto Prieto, director of
photography for Lust, Caution
Osella for best screenplay: Paul Laverty for It's A Free
Special Lion for Overall Work: Nikita Mikhalkov
Horizons Prize: Autumn Ball (Sugisball) (Veiko Ounpuu)
Horizons Doc: Useless (Wuyong) (Jia Zhangke)
Special Mention: Death in the Land of Encantos (Kagadanan Sa Banwaan Ning Mga Engkanto) (Lav Diaz)
Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future: Rodrigo Pla for La Zona
Corto Cortissimo (Best Short): Dog Altogether (Paddy Considine)
Corto Cortissimo Special Mention: Stone People (Leonid Rybakov)