“Joker” Takes Top Prize At Venice Film Festival

By Creative Media Times

Warner Bros.’s upcoming psychological thriller kicks off the award season on Saturday, winning the 76th Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion jury award, the festival’s highest prize.

Centered on the titular DC Comics villain, “Joker,” was received ecstatically during its premiere at the festival, with many praising Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the iconic character.

“There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and bravest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent,” director Todd Phillips said about the film’s lead.

The win is considering somewhat a surprise, and the award is rarely bestowed upon a big Hollywood production. Recent Golden Lion recipients include Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma.”

See partial list of winners below. For the full list of winners, go to www.labiennale.org.

Venice 76 Awards

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