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'August: Osage County' Dominates Italy's Capri, Hollywood Fest With Four Awards

August Osage County Streep Martindale - H 2013
"August: Osage County"

John Wells' drama about a dysfunctional family joins the select list of films to win Capri, Hollywood's film of the year honor.

CAPRI, Italy – John Wells' August: Osage County was the big winner at the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday, taking home four prizes, including the festival's central film of the year honor.

Capri, Hollywood's Film of the Year award is often a harbinger of good things for the film selected: last year's film of the year, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, earned eight Oscar nominations, and the year before that, The Artist from Michel Hazanavicius ended up taking home five Oscars, including best film.

Best film Oscar winners The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire were similarly honored at previous editions of the festival, which is set on the picturesque island of Capri, off the coast of Naples.

August: Osage County's Meryl Streep, who did not come to the festival, won the prize for best actress, while the film's all-star cast -- which includes Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper -- won the festival's best acting ensemble honor. Earlier in the festival, Cooper was on hand to receive the festival's lifetime achievement prize.

The film won the festival's top prize over a power-packed lineup that included Justin Chadwick's Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, Disney's Saving Mr. Banks, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Russell's American Hustle and The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) from Paolo Sorrentino, the first Italian film shortlisted for the foreign language film Oscar since Don't Tell (La bestia nel cuore) nine years ago.

But most of those films did not leave Capri empty-handed: Mandela star Idris Elba was named best actor and co-star Naomie Harris was selected as best supporting actress. U2's "Ordinary Love," from the film's soundtrack, was selected as best song. Elba and Harris were on hand to receive their awards personally.

John Ridley won the adapted screenplay honor for his work on 12 Years a Slave, while the supporting actor honor went to Michael Fassbender for his work on the same film.

Saving Mr. Banks won the Capri Audience Award and The Great Beauty was given the Capri Visionary Movie Award.

Other awards went to actress-director Valeria Golino as European actress of the year, while Emily Ratajkowski was selected as the Capri Rising Star. Both Golino and Ratajkowski were at the festival to receive their honors.

Russell was honored by the festival earlier in December, in Rome.

Additionally, earlier this week film mogul Harvey Weinstein received an unscheduled achievement honor. Weinstein attended the 18-year-old event for the first time in connection with both August: Osage County and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

"The winners are justly deserving of the honors they received and we congratulate them for their extraordinary contributions to the art of motion pictures," festival founder and artistic director Pascal Vicedomini said.

The festival, which got underway Dec. 27, concludes Thursday. The festival spans the new year annually, making it the last film event of each year and the first of the following year.

Twitter: @EricJLyman