Venice: Frances McDormand Receives Visionary Award

AP Photo/David Azia
Frances McDormand

The Oscar-winning actress accepted the honor in flawless Italian

The world's oldest film festival paid tribute to actress Frances McDormand on Monday.

The Oscar-winning star of Fargo received the Venice Film Festival's Persol Tribute to Visionary honor at a gala ceremony attended by McDormand and her husband, and frequent collaborator, director Joel Coen.

Also in attendance were Richard Jenkins, McDormand's co-star in the new four-part HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, and the series' director, Lisa Cholodenko.

Venice festival director Alberto Barbera noted it was exactly 30 years ago that McDormand made her feature-film debut in Coen's Blood Simple. Barbera praised the actress for her portrayal of strong female characters and what he called her “consistent vision of art and the world that is often positive and … that stands in contrast to today's dominant system of values.”

Taking the stage, McDormand made a short curtsy before thanking the festival — in Italian — for the “great honor.”

Following the ceremony, the festival screened all four hours of Olive Kitteridge. The series was initiated by McDormand herself, who optioned Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel five years ago and is an executive producer on the series.

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