Magnolia Paints Berlin Red

Paul Thomas Anderson wins the Golden Bear

by Willow Green |
Published on

Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling three-hour suburban epic Magnolia has been awarded the top Golden Bear prize at the 50th Berlin Film Festival. Nominated last week for three Academy Awards - including Best Original screenplay for Anderson and Best Supporting Actor for Tom Cruise - Magnolia is only the 29 year-old director's third film, after Boogie Nights and Hard Eight. A dense story weaving the lives of nine characters together of the course of one day in the San Fernando valley, Magnolia beat off the likes of The Beach and The Talented Mr Ripley to take the prize. Chinese director Zhang Yimou was awarded the Silver Bear for The Road Home, only six months after swooping the Golden Lion, at the Venice festival for Not One Less. Continuing the sentimental tone of his previous film, it deals with a young girl's love for a local teacher in rural China. Milos Foreman was named Best Director for his Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, a small consolation after the lukewarm reviews and poor box office life of the film in the States. Also overlooked at the Oscars - including Jim Carrey's spot-on take on Kaufman - the film played well to festival audiences in Berlin. Denzel Washington was also able to add to his recent Golden Globe with a nod for Best Actor in Berlin for his searing performance as wrongly-imprisoned former boxer, Ruben Carter. The Hurricane, directed by Norman Jewison, has also afforded Washington an Academy nomination, offering the unprecedented possibility of a hat-trick of prizes for the actor. Best actress prize went jointly to Bibiana Beglau and Nadja Uhl for their roles in The Tin Drum director Volker Schldorff's Die Stille Nach Dem Schuss (The Legends of Rita). Another German director - Wim Wenders, whose poorly received Million Dollar Hotel opened the festival - also took a Jury Prize of a Silver Bear for the film. Berlin report: James Mottram

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