Blanchett and Farrell win acting honors at the Venice Film Festival

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Cate Blanchett and Colin Farrell won the Best Actor awards at the Venice International Film Festival on Saturday. Blanchett won for his performance as a renowned bandleader in Todd Field’s “TÁR” and Farrell for playing a man his longtime friend broke up with in Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

“I’m shocked to receive this and thrilled,” Farrell said in a live video message broadcast to the festival on Saturday night. McDonagh was on hand to collect the award.

‘Bones and All’ star Taylor Russell won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actress for her role in the cannibal love affair with Timothée Chalamet.

“I prepared a speech because I’m nervous,” Russell said. “I am grateful beyond belief to be here. So many of my heroes are in this room.

Russell thanked his director Luca Guadagnino.

“He’s been a great friend to me and I love him so much.” Russell said.

The 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival came to a close on Saturday evening as the jury gathered to present the prizes to the films in competition at a ceremony hosted by Rocio Munoz Morales.

The judging panel, led by Julianne Moore, selects the winners from 23 competing films that included plenty of Oscar hopefuls. The Oscar-winning actress chaired a jury made up of French director Audrey Diwan, whose film “Happening” won the Golden Lion last year, author Kazuo Ishiguro (“Never Let Me Go”) and the Iranian actress Leila Hatami (“A Separation”). The main jury also included Italian director Leonardo Di Costanzo (“The Inner Cage”), Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Cohn (“Official Competition”) and Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“The Candidate”).

The premiere in competition at Venice has launched many successful Oscar campaigns in recent years, leading to nominations and even wins. Seven times in the past nine years, the Best Director Oscar has gone to see a film premiering at the festival, including Chloé Zhao, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, twice, Guillermo del Toro and Damien Chazelle. It also debuted a handful of future Best Picture winners like “Nomadland,” “The Shape of Water” and “Birdman.”

The festival has cemented several films, actors and directors, as strong contenders for the awards for the upcoming season. Brendan Fraser moved many to tears for his portrayal of Charlie, a reclusive English teacher who weighs 600 pounds and tries to fix things with his cruel daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” Cate Blanchett also received universal acclaim for her turn in Todd Field’s “TÁR,” a clever drama about a renowned bandleader at the top of his game in the international world whose reputation is suddenly under threat.

Awards aside, it was a Venice for books, with a glamorous top by Timothée Chalamet, who stunned in a red halter top by Haider Ackermann, and Florence Pugh, looking like a movie star in a sheer tulle on the Valentino shoulder that slyly evoked both classic romanticism and playful modernity, and big drama, mostly around Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling.” The behind-the-scenes intrigue of Wilde’s film led to excessive silliness as the world watched the cast’s every move for clues, from where people were seated, to who was watching whom at the premiere.

Chris Pine even became an unlikely meme for various photos of him looking zoned out at a press conference. Then came “spit-gate” where onlookers turned into amateur sleuths trying to figure out if Harry Styles spat on Pine before the film’s world premiere (he didn’t). As always, Venice gets people talking.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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For more information on the Venice Film Festival, visit: www.apnews.com/VeniceFilmFestival

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