Venice’s Golden Lion goes to Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things
- VENICE 2023: The top prize has gone to the film by the Greek director; also rewarded were Evil Does Not Exist by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Me Captain by Matteo Garrone and Green Border by Agnieszka Holland
No surprises then. This time, the jury – comprising chair Damien Chazelle, Saleh Bakri, Jane Campion, Mia Hansen-Løve, Gabriele Mainetti, Martin McDonagh, Santiago Mitre, Laura Poitras and Shu Qi – was in complete agreement with the opinions of the audience and the critics at the Venice Film Festival. The Golden Lion thus went to the extraordinary (just one of the possible adjectives that could be applied to this film) Poor Things [+see also:
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] by Greek helmer Yorgos Lanthimos, who made a return to the Lido after winning the Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize with The Favourite [+see also:
film profile] in 2018 and the Best Screenplay Award for Alps [+see also:
film profile] in 2011. And there were major awards acknowledging social and political, as well as ethical, engagement, won by three more extraordinary films: Japan’s Evil Does Not Exist, Me Captain [+see also:
film profile] and Green Border [+see also:
Let’s proceed in that order. The president of the Biennale, Roberto Cicutto, handed the coveted winged statuette to a very proud Lanthimos, who explained how it took years to get the US-UK-Irish-produced film off the ground. “We waited until the industry was ready.” The director made mention of the “fabulous novel” by Scottish author Alasdair Gray, on which the picture is based, and his team, made up entirely of women, apart from one man. “The magnificent creature at the heart of this film would not have existed without Emma Stone, who is an equally magnificent creature. This film belongs to her, as she was both in front of and behind the movie camera.”
The Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize went to Japan’s Evil Does Not Exist, which conveys a strong environmental message. Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi said that he could never have imagined “receiving this prize when we started making the film”.
Jane Campion handed the Silver Lion for Best Director to Matteo Garrone for Me Captain, an Italian-Belgian production. “This award,” stated Garrone, “will be a huge help in enabling it to reach a bigger audience. I clung to [the protagonists’] stories, to their accounts, and I shot with them, attempting to put my vision at the service of this story, but also giving a voice to those who don’t have one.” Their incredible performances succeeded in imbuing the movie with humanity, a three-dimensional nature and also a certain spirituality. Young lead actor Seydou Sarr also received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent. Garrone gave the floor to Kouassi Pli Adama Mamadou, the film’s biggest source of inspiration. “I’d like to dedicate this prize to those who failed to arrive. When there’s a longing and the need to leave, no one can stop you. A travel visa for us young Africans is the only way to put an end to the illegal trafficking of human beings.” Garrone expressed solidarity with Morocco, which has been hit by an earthquake, and where part of the movie was shot.
Refugees from the Middle East and Africa who find themselves caught up in a geopolitical crisis are at the heart of Green Border by veteran Polish director Agnieszka Holland, a co-production between Poland, France, the Czech Republic and Belgium, which picked up the Special Jury Prize. “It wasn’t easy shooting this film for reasons that you can perhaps imagine, or perhaps not. It was a struggle, but we had to do it; it was our duty. Since 2014, when the refugee crisis first reared its head, about 560,000 people have died while attempting to reach Europe.” The director dedicated the award to local activists and associations that are helping the refugees, everywhere from Poland to Lampedusa.
The Best Screenplay Award went to El Conde by Pablo Larrain, who rounded off his speech with a resounding “No to impunity.” The Volpi Cup for Best Actress was reserved for 25-year-old Cailee Spaeny, who plays the young Priscilla Presley in Priscilla [+see also:
film profile] by Sofia Coppola, a US-Italian film. The Volpi Cup for Best Actor, meanwhile, was bestowed upon Peter Sarsgaard, who stars in the moving Memory by Michel Franco, flanked by Jessica Chastain.
The Orizzonti jury (chaired by Jonas Carpignano) gave out seven awards, with the main one going to Explanation for Everything [+see also:
interview: Gábor Reisz
film profile] by Hungary’s Gábor Reisz. Best Director went to Sweden’s Mika Gustafson for Paradise Is Burning [+see also:
interview: Mika Gustafson
film profile]: “I wanted to make something new, to push myself beyond the limits; not all stories have been told yet!” The Special Jury Prize was granted to An Endless Sunday [+see also:
interview: Alain Parroni
film profile] by Italy’s Alain Parroni, co-produced by Wim Wenders. Margarita Rosa De Francisco was crowned Best Actress for El Paraíso [+see also:
interview: Enrico Maria Artale
film profile] by Enrico Maria Artale, which also scooped the Best Screenplay Award. Best Actor was Tergel Bold-Erdene, the lead in City of Wind [+see also:
film profile] by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, constituting a historic prize for Mongolia. Best Short Film was deemed to be A Short Trip by Albania’s Erenik Beqiri.
Lastly, the Lion of the Future - "Luigi de Laurentiis" Award for a Debut Film, for which movies in any of the different competitive and parallel sections of the festival are eligible, ended up going to Love Is a Gun by Lee Hong-Chi, a Taiwanese actor making his directorial debut in competition in the International Film Critics’ Week.
The award winners:
Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize
Evil Does Not Exist - Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Japan)
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Peter Sarsgaard - Memory (Mexico/USA)
Award for Best Screenplay
Guillermo Calderón, Pablo Larraín - El conde (Chile)
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent
Seydou Sarr - Me Captain
El paraíso - Enrico Maria Artale
Best Short Film
A Short Trip - Erenik Beqiri (France)
Lion of the Future - "Luigi de Laurentiis" Award for a Debut Film
Love Is a Gun - Lee Hong-chi (Hong Kong/Taiwan)
Best Restored Film
Ohikkoshi (Moving) - Shinji Somai (Japan) (1993)
Best Documentary on Cinema
Thank You Very Much - Alex Braverman (USA)
Songs for a Passerby - Celine Daemen (Netherlands)
Special Jury Prize
Flow - Adriaan Lokman (Netherlands/France)
Empereur - Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen (France/Germany)
Photogallery 09/09/2023: Venice 2023 - Awards
22 pictures available. Swipe left or right to see them all.
(Translated from Italian)
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