Venice: Vanessa Redgrave to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

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Vanessa Redgrave

She will get the honorary Lion on the Lido at a special ceremony during the 75th edition of the film festival.

The Venice film festival on Tuesday unveiled its second Golden Lion lifetime achievement recipient ahead of its official lineup announcement Wednesday. British actress Vanessa Redgrave will take home the honorary award to celebrate her lifetime achievement for acting. 

“I am astonished and especially delighted to hear that I will be awarded by the Venice Film Festival for a life’s work in film," said Redgrave. "Last summer I was filming in Venice in The Aspern Papers. Many many years ago I filmed La Vacanza in the marshes of the Veneto. My character spoke every word in the Venetian dialect. I bet I am the only non-Italian actress to act an entire role in Venetian dialect! Thank you a million, dear festival!"

Born into an acting family, Redgrave has a career spanning six decades. She has received six Oscar nominations and won in 1977 for her supporting role in Julia. In Venice in 1994 she won the Volpi Cup for best actress for Little Odessa. She is just as well-known as a stage actress, having received both a Tony Award and an Olivier Award for best actress. 

Redgrave can next be seen starring in the Venice-set The Aspern Papers, directed by Julien Landais, based on the novella by Henry James about a young writer who tries to obtain the love letters a poet sent to his mistress. She has two other films coming out shortly, Mrs. Lowry & Son by Adrian Noble, with Timothy Spall, and Georgetown by Christoph Waltz, with Annette Bening. 

"Unanimously considered one of today’s best actresses, Redgrave’s sensitive, infinitely faceted performances ideally render complex and often controversial characters," said Venice chief Alberto Barbera. "Gifted with a natural elegance, innate seductive power, and extraordinary talent, she can nonchalantly pass from European art house cinema to lavish Hollywood productions, from the stage to TV sets, each time offering top-quality results."

Added Barbera: "In the 60 years of her professional activity, her performances have displayed authoritativeness and total control over the roles she plays, a boundless and highly sophisticated generosity, and a healthy dose of the courage and fighting spirit, which are a hallmark of her compassionate, artistic nature."

As previously announced, Canadian auteur David Cronenberg will receive the festival's lifetime achievement award for directing. 

The 75th Venice Film Festival takes place Aug. 29-Sept. 8.