“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won the Toronto Film Festival’s top award, the audience award, as the festival wrapped up Saturday in its 25th year. The film, directed by Ang Lee (“Sense and Sensibility,” “The Ice Storm”), is a martial arts romance. It was also an audience winner in Cannes in May.
Festival director Piers Handling told USA Today that audiences were taken with the “pure magic of movement” displayed in the film. It is due to be released by Sony Pictures Classics on Dec. 22.
Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” follow-up, “Almost Famous,” also received raves as it was voted the best-loved new film. The rock opus is a coming of age film with familiar 1970s conventions -- sex, money and drugs -- based on Crowe’s own experiences as a teenage reporter for Rolling Stone.
Two Australian films also impressed festival voters. Rob Sitch's “The Dish,” a comedy that describes how Australia “secretly” contributed to the first lunar landing, was runner-up in voting, while Paul Cox's “Innocence” tied with British director Stephen Daldry's “Billy Elliot” for third place.
The 328 films screened over the 10-day festival earned $1.2 million at the Toronto box office.