Todd Phillips’ eagerly anticipated new film, Joker, reigned supreme at the Venice Film Festival and took home the event’s big prize, the Golden Lion for Best Film.
The film, which has fans of the franchise whipped up into a frenzy with excitement, was co-written by Phillips and Scott Silver, the man previously behind 8 Mile. The film tells the story of failed comedian Arthur Fleck who encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow dissent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.
With Joaquin Phoenix famously in the lead role, the film has been described as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.”
In his acceptance speech, Phillips thanked Phoenix for his performance: “There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent,” he said.
Elsewhere, Roman Polanski claimed the Grand Jury Prize for his film An Officer And A Spy, a French drama film about the Dreyfus affair and based on Robert Harris’ 2013 novel of the same name.
See the full list of winners, below.
Venice Film Festival 2019 winners:
Joker; dir: Todd Phillips
Grand Jury Prize
An Officer And A Spy: dir: Roman Polanski
Silver Lion, Best Director
Roy Andersson; About Endlessness
Volpi Cup, Best Actress
Ariane Ascaride; Gloria Mundi
Volpi Cup, Best Actor
Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
Yonfan; No. 7 Cherry Lane
Special Jury Prize
La Mafia Non E Più Quello Di Una Volta; dir: Franco Moresco
Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Toby Wallace, Babyteeth
Atlantis; dir: Valentyn Vasyanovych
Theo Court; Blanco En Blanco
Special Jury Prize
Verdict; dir: Raymund Ribay Guttierez
Marta Nieto; Madre
Sami Bouajila; A Son
Jessica Palud, Revenir
Best Short Film
Darling; dir: Saim Sadiq
LION OF THE FUTURE — LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM
You Will Die At 20; dir: Amjad Abu Alala
VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY
The Key; dir: Céline Tricart
Best VR Experience
A Linha; dir: Ricardo Laganaro
Best VR Story
Daughters Of Chibok; dir: Joel Kachi Benson
Best Documentary on Cinema
Babenco; dir: Barbara Paz
Ecstasy; Gustav Machaty