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Branagh film wins award in Venice

Kenneth Branagh has bounced back from the critical roasting given to his film Frankenstein by capturing a prestigious award with the follow- up, writes David Lister.

Called In The Bleak Midwinter, it gained the Osello D'Oro award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday night. The film stars Joan Collins, Richard Briers and Jennifer Saunders.

Branagh's latest work is a mild satire on thespian "luvvies" which tells the tale of an out-of-work actor who mounts a production of Hamlet with the help of a small group of oddballs.

Branagh's friends said that he was deeply depressed by the adverse critical reaction to Frankenstein last year, and would be delighted that he is once again being acclaimed for his directorial work.

In The Bleak Midwinter goes on release in the UK on 1 December.