The Master was the big winner at the Venice Film Festival, but lost out on the top prize because of a technicality that said a film could only win two major awards.
The film won rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival and is getting even more attention this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
And the judges agreed, awarding the prestigious Silver Lion award to director Paul Thomas Anderson and split the Best Actor award between the film's two stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Pheonix. But the Hollywood Reporter says sources claim the jury wanted to award the top prize, the Golden Lion, to The Master but a new rule states a film can only win two major categories, so the trophy went to South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk for the film Pieta.
The Huffington Post quotes jury president Michael Mann saying, "(The Master) was awarded best director because we really thought Paul Thomas Anderson's directing was fantastic.”“And it allowed us to award the actors. Nobody else could have played these roles. It’s a three-handed triumph."
And Anderson, at a press conference in Toronto, said he was just happy to be honoured. "I'm thrilled with whatever they want to hand over. I heard some of the scuttlebutt recently but I'm just thrilled with what they hand over. And that's all."
The Master, about a religious cult in post-war America that some say is loosely based on Scientology, captured one more big prize in Venice though, taking home the FIPRESCI International Critics award.