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Tough job for judges at Venice film festival

Quentin Tarantino faces a tough choice as jury president at the Venice film festival as it winds to a close today, with no clear frontrunner for the coveted Golden Lion award.

Unlike 2009, when the hard-hitting war movie Lebanon was a popular winner, and 2008, when The Wrestler launched the surprise comeback of Hollywood outsider Mickey Rourke, this year has lacked a defining moment that unites audiences. The 24-strong line-up, featuring the youngest group of directors in memory, has been seen by critics as strong and varied, providing everything from French comedy to Polish existential minimalism to effects-heavy Chinese costume drama.

"The film average is very good, but there's been nothing to fall in love with," Il Foglio said, although the Italian daily did later identify Venus Noire as a worthy contender for prizes.