Monster and Charlize Theron the ones to beat at Berlinale
American independent film Monster and its star, Charlize Theron, were the hot tips on Friday for the Berlin International Film Festival Awards ahead of the event's climax on Saturday. The low-budget Patty Jenkins film starring Theron as lesbian multiple murderer Aileen Wuornos has drawn rave reviews from international critics polled by German newspapers and is widely expected to scoop the prestigious Golden Bear award for best film. The winner will be announced on Saturday afternoon. But Berlin juries are famously unpredictable, and the warm applause for Monster and Theron, who has already won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for the film, is no guarantee of success at the festival, also known as the Berlinale. Some critics think Richard Linklater's Before Sunset and fellow American director Ron Howard's The Missing could snatch the award, being contested by 23 films. French director Patrice Leconte's Intimate Strangers (Confidences Trop Intimes) and the low-budget Lost Embrace (El Abrazo Partido) from Argentinean director Daniel Burman have also won favorable reviews from the critics.