Venice Film Festival: Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ Wins The Golden Lion

The 76th Venice Film Festival held their awards ceremony Saturday with Todd Phillips “Joker” taking home the big prize with this year’s Golden Lion. The award’s previous two winners include the Oscar-winning films “Roma” and “The Shape of Water.” 

When “Joker” world premiered in Venice, first reactions were describing the villain origin story as a brutal and immaculate entry from director Todd Phillips, whose other work includes “”Starsky & Hutch,” “The Hangover” trilogy and “War Dogs.”

Roman Polanski’s potently controversial arrival on the Lido has awarded the “Rosemary’s Baby” director with the Grand Jury Prize for his film “An Officer and a Spy.” Moreover, the Silver Lion for Best Director was given to Roy Andersson for his feature “About Endlessness.” Guy Lodge of Variety described the director’s commitment in the film, writing “Not all real life appears unreal in “About Endlessness,” even as Andersson stages it with the beautiful, studio-bound artifice that is his signature.” In the Horizons Competition, Valentyn Vasyanovych‘s “Atlantis” took home the prize Best Film, with his Ukrainian feature about a war-torn soldier suffering from PTSD.

The 76the Venice Film Festival ran from August 28- September 7. The jury, chaired by Lucrecia Martel, and comprised of Stacy Martin, Mary Harron, Piers Handling, Rodrigo Prieto, Shinya Tsukamoto, Paolo Virzì, having viewed all 21 films in competition, awarding the following:

COMPETITION

  • Golden Lion: “Joker,” Todd Phillips
  • Grand Jury Prize: “An Officer and a Spy,” Roman Polanski
  • Silver Lion for Best Director: Roy Andersson, “About Endlessness”
  • Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Ariane Ascaride, “Gloria Mundi”
  • Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden”
  • Best Screenplay: “No. 7 Cherry Lane,” Yonfan
  • Special Jury Prize: “The Mafia Is No Longer What It Used to Be,” Franco Maresco
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Actor: Toby Wallace, “Babyteeth”
“Atlantis”

HORIZONS COMPETITION (ORIZZONTI)

  • Best Film: “Atlantis,” Valentyn Vasyanovych
  • Best Director: Théo Court, “White on White”
  • Special Jury Prize: “Verdict,” Raymund Ribas Gutierrez
  • Best Actress: Marta Nieto, “Madre”
  • Best Actor: Sami Bouajila, “A Son”
  • Best Screenplay: “Back Home,” Jessica Palud, Philippe Lioret and Diastème
  • Best Short Film: “Darling,” Salim Salif

LION OF THE FUTURE

Luigi de Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Feature: “You Will Die at Twenty,” Amjad Abu Alala

VENICE CLASSICS

  • Best Restored Film: “Ecstasy,” Gustav Machatý
  • Best Documentary on Cinema: “Babenco – Alguém Tem Que Ouvir O Coração E Dizer: Parou,” Bárbara Paz
“The Key”

VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION

  • Best Virtual Reality: Céline Tricart, “The Key”
  • Best Virtual Reality Experience: “A Linha,” Ricardo Laganaro
  • Best Virtual Reality Story: “Daughters of Chibok,” Joel Kachi Benson

What do you make of the Venice Film Festival winners? Do you think “Joker” has the potential to at least win Phoenix his first Oscar win? Comment below!

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