Poor Things wins Golden Lion

Lanthimos takes top prize in Venice

by Amber Wilkinson

Poor Things
Poor Things Photo: Courtesy of Venice Film Festival
The Golden Lion for best film at Venice Film Festival was awarded to Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

The Greek filmmaker accepted the award for the science fiction black comedy about a young woman who is brought back to life, which has been receiving across-the-board critical praise from the festival.

The film, which stars Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe also played at Telluride and will also screen at New York and London film festivals this autumn ahead of its US release in December and UK January release.

yusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist won the Silver Lion Grand Jury prize while Agnieszka Holland’s Green Border won the Special Jury Prize.

Matteo Garrone was named best director for Io Capitano, with the film also seeing Seydou Sarr pick up the Marcello Mastroianni award for promising young performer.

Peter Sarsgaard won the Volpi Cup for best actor for Michel Franco’s Memory and spoke about the threat to jobs presented by artificial intelligence in his speech. Referring to the ongoing actors strikes, he said: ”If we lose this battle, our industry will be the first of many to fall.”

Cailee Spaeny won the best actress award for her portrayal of Priscilla in Sofia Coppola's Presley biopic, while the best screenplay award went to Pablo Larraín for El Conde, which depicts Augusto Pinochet as a vampire. The film will be available on Netflix this Friday.

The Horizons best film award went to Explanation For Everything, directed by Gabor Reisz, while Mika Gustafson picked up the best director gong for Paradise Is Burning. The acting awards went to Margarita Rosa de Francesco for El paraiso and Tergel Bold-Erdene for City Of Wind.

The awards in full:

Official Competition

  • Golden Lion - Poor Things, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Special Jury Prize - Green Border, dir. Agnieszka Holland
  • Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize - Evil Does Not Exist, dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • Silver Lion for best director - Matteo Garrone, for Io Capitano
  • Volpi Cup for Best Actress - Cailee Spaeny, for Priscilla
  • Volpi Cup for Best Actor - Peter Sarsgaard, for Memory
  • Golden Osella for Best Screenplay - Pablo Larrain, Guillermo Calderon for El Conde
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award - Seydou Sarr, for Io Capitano


  • Best Film - Explanation For Everything, dir. Gabor Reisz
  • Best Director - Mika Gustafson, for Paradise Is Burning
  • Special Jury Prize - An Endless Sunday, dir. Alain Parroni
  • Best Actress - Margarita Rosa de Francesco, for El paraiso
  • Best Actor - Tergel Bold-Erdene, for City Of Wind
  • Best Screenplay - El paraiso, dir. Enrico Maria Artale
  • Best Short Film - A Short Trip, dir. Erenik Beqiri

Horizons Extra

  • Armani Beauty prize - Felicita, dir. Micaela Ramazzotti
  • Lion of the Future Luigi de Laurentis Award for a Debut film - Love Is A Gun, dir. Lee Hong-chi

Venice Classics

  • Best documentary on cinema - Thank You Very Much, dir. Alex Braverman
  • Best restored film - Moving, dir. Shinji Somai

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