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Venice Film Festival Winners: Racy Emma Stone Movie Poor Things Takes Home the Golden Lion

Yorgos Lanthimos’ racy Poor Things, which caused a stir on the Lido thanks to several racy sex scenes featuring Oscar winner Emma Stone, has won the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival.

Poor Things seemed all but destined to take home the Golden Lion following the ecstatic reaction out of the film’s world premiere. Stone plays Bella Baxter, a woman who is reanimated, Frankenstein-style, and sets out to dismantle a patriarchal world that she barely understands.

Lanthimos’ gave his leading lady, whom he previously worked with on The Favourite and with whom he has already worked again on the upcoming And, the lion’s share of the credit for the success of the picture, saying that Poor Things wouldn’t exist without her. “This film is her, in front and behind the camera,” he told the crowd at Venice’s awards ceremony.

Stone did not, however, win Best Actress, which instead went to Cailee Spaeny for her performance in Sofia Coppola‘s Priscilla. Indeed, Venice juries tend to spread the love across multiple films. Peter Sarsgaard won the fest’s Best Actor prize for his turn opposite Jessica Chastain as a man suffering from dementia in Michel Franco‘s drama Memory. Sarsgaard used his speech to speak out against the AMPTP and its warm embrace of AI, calling for member companies not to forget their own humanity.

Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone won the fest’s Best Director prize for Me Captain, and the film’s star, newcomer Seydou Sarr, was named Best Young Actor. He broke down in tears during his acceptance speech.

Elsewhere, Ryusuke Hamaguchi‘s Exit Does Not Exist was awarded the Grand Jury Prize, while Guillermo Calderon and director Pablo Larraín won the Best Screenplay award for their Netflix movie El Conde, which depicts former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a literal 250-year-old vampire.

Additionally, Alex Braverman‘s Andy Kaufman doc Thank You Very Much won Venice’s documentary prize, Polish director Agnieszka Holland won a special jury award for her refugee drama Green Border, and Taiwanese actor Lee Hong-chi won Best First Feature for directing Love Is a Gun, which follows an ex-convict trying to go straight.

The full list of Venice winners can be found below:

Main Competition

Best Film
Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos

Grand Jury Prize
Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Best Director
Matteo Garrone, Io Capitano

Special Jury Prize
Green Border, Agnieszka Holland

Best Screenplay
Guillermo Calderon, Pablo Larrain, El Conde

Best Actress
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla

Best Actor
Peter Sarsgaard, Memory

Best Young Actor
Seydou Sarr, Io Capitano

Orizzonti (Horizons)

Best Film
Explanation for Everything — Gabor Reisz

Best Director
Mika Gustafson — Paradiset Brinner (Paradise is Burning)

Special Jury Prize
Una Sterminata Domenica — Alain Parroni

Best Actress
Margarita Rosa De Francisco, El Paraíso

Best Actor
Tergel Bold-Erdene, City of Wind

Best Screenplay
El Paraíso — Enrico Maria Artale

Best Short Film
A Short Trip — Erenik Beqiri

Lion of the Future — Venice Award for a Debut Film
(Al Shi Yi Ba Qiang) Love Is a Gun — Lee Hong-Ch

Orizzonti Extra

Audience Award
Felicita — Micheala Ramazotti

Venice Classics

Best Documentary on Cinema
Thank You Very Much — Alex Braverman

Best Restored Film
Ohikkoshi (Moving) — Shinji Somae

Venice Immersive

Grand Prize
Songs for a Passerby — Celine Daemen

Special Jury Prize
Flow — Adriaan Lokman

Achievement prize
Emperor — Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen

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