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'Wrestler' wins Golden Lion in Venice

'Wrestler' wins Golden Lion in Venice
File photo of Mickey Rourke dated May 24, 2007. (UPI Photo/Christine Chew) | License Photo

VENICE, Italy, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- "The Wrestler," a drama directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke, has won the Golden Lion award for best picture at the Venice film festival.

Rourke has starred in the movies "Rumble Fish," "9 1/2 weeks," "Pope of Greenwich Village" and "Barfly." Aronofsky has directed the films "Requiem for a Dream" and "The Fountain."

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In the new movie, Rourke plays a professional wrestler well past his prime.

"I need to thank Mickey Rourke, for opening up his heart and soul for the camera, for trusting me and giving me the honor of reminding the world what a great talent he is," the BBC quoted Aronofsky as saying as he collected the award.

"Darren could make other kinds of movies if he wanted to, make a lot of money in the United States," Rourke said. "I love and respect him because he doesn't compromise and he wants to make movies that are not that expensive, that have a lot of integrity."

The BBC said Russia's Alexei German Jr. picked up the festival's Silver Lion for best director for his movie "Paper Soldier."

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Italy's Silvio Orlando and Dominique Blanc won the awards for best actor and actress for their respective films "Il Papa di Giovanna" and "Blanc was in L'Autre."

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