The eccentric comedy Poor Things won the coveted Golden Lion at the 80th Venice International Film Festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday (Sept. 9) night. On behalf of the movie, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos accepted the accolade.
One of the most sought-after accolades in the film business, the Golden Lion Award is noted for kicking off the awards season and frequently showcasing Oscar front-runners.
Black comedy Poor Things features the amazing Emma Stone as a sex-obsessed reanimated corpse. The movie has been praised by critics at the festival as an “instant classic.” Stone was a key producer of the movie and decided not to attend the festival in support of the Hollywood writers’ strike. Lanthimos praised Stone’s commitment in his victory speech, saying, “This film is her, in front and behind the camera.”
Two additional films at the Venice Film Festival drew notice in addition to Poor Things. The films brought attention to Europe’s immigration policy. Io Capitano (Me Captain), directed by Italian Matteo Garrone, won the Best Director prize, while Seydou Sarr, the movie’s leading man, got the Best Young Actor prize.
In Io Capitano, two young boys are followed on their terrifying trip from Dakar, Senegal, via the Libyan labour camps and finally over the treacherous Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
The Special Jury Prize went to Agnieszka Holland for her moving depiction of the migrant issue in Europe along the Poland-Belarus border, Green Border.