True grit

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The Independent Online

Never mind the debate about whether Nicole Kidman is too young to be a legend, the outstanding figure from this year's Venice Film Festival is Mike Leigh. The Golden Lion awarded to the British director for Vera Drake is a victory both for a director's tenacity - the film was rejected by the Cannes Film Festival - and for low-budget film-making. This was one of the most star-encrusted Venice Film Festivals ever, with Al Pacino, Steven Spielberg and Johnny Depp all in attendance, but the ultimate victory was reserved for Mr Leigh's film about a cleaning lady set in 1950s London. Grit prevailed over glitz.