The 2023 Venice Film Festival persevered despite a dimmed Hollywood presence, with much of the onscreen talent sitting this year’s Lido event out due to the strikes. There in Italy, however, were directors like Michael Mann, David Fincher, Yorgos Lanthimos, Ava DuVernay, Wes Anderson, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Richard Linklater, Sofia Coppola, and even Woody Allen to present their latest films and do the talking on behalf of their sidelined actors.
Saturday at the Sala Grande, the jury headed up by president Damien Chazelle revealed the winners of the 2023 competition awards. Jurors including Martin McDonagh, Jane Campion, and Mia Hansen-Løve saw 23 movies over the last week and a half, including Lanthimos’ raved-about “Poor Things,” Coppola’s well-liked “Priscilla,” Bertrand Bonello’s daring “The Beast,” Fincher’s assassin thriller “The Killer,” Bradley Cooper’s Oscar hopeful “Maestro,” Mann’s gripping “Ferrari,” and more.
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Word on the Lido was highest for eventual Golden Lion winner “Poor Things,” an irresistibly funny, gorgeously crafted, and very graphic sexcapade starring Emma Stone as a dead woman reborn and reveling in the tabula rasa of living life anew and deliciously. It bursts with orgiastic set pieces and Ken Russell levels of depraved sex acts, and was destined to win something today — it turned out to be the top prize. Stone seems like a lock for Best Actress consideration at the Oscars, and Lanthimos previously won the Grand Jury Prize in 2018 at Venice for the eventual Best Actress Oscar winner for Olivia Colman, “The Favourite.”
“Ferrari,” the first film to screen in the main competition after opener “Comandante,” also revved up strong reviews for Adam Driver’s portrayal of the philandering title automaker and Penélope Cruz as his jilted wife. Other acclaimed entries include Pablo Larraín’s Pinochet-as-a-vampire drama “El Conde,” which ended up winning Best Screenplay, Belgian filmmaker Fien Troch’s supernatural “Carrie” homage “Holly,” Hamaguchi’s made-in-secret eco-poem “Evil Does Not Exist” (which took the Silver Lion), and Nikolaj Arcel’s “The Promised Land,” starring Mads Mikkelsen.
Competition jurors also include last year’s Golden Lion winner Laura Poitras, actress Shu Qi, actor Saleh Bakri, and filmmakers Gabriele Mainetti and Santiago Mitre.
Today’s prize winners also include honorees from other sections of the festival, including the Orizzonti, Biennale College, and VR programs.
You can watch the awards via the Biennale’s YouTube livestream below as well.
2023 Venice Film Festival Winners
Golden Lion: “Poor Things” (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize: “Evil Does Not Exist” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
Silver Lion for Best Director: Matteo Garrone, “Io Capitano”
Special Jury Prize: “Green Border” (Agnieszka Holland)
Best Screenplay: “El Conde” (Guillermo Calderón, Pablo Larraín)
Best Actress: Cailee Spaeny, “Priscilla”
Best Actor: Peter Sarsgaard, “Memory”
Marcello Mastroianni Best Young Actor Award: Seydou Sarr, “Io Capitano”
Orizzonti Best Film: “Explanation for Everything” (Gábor Reisz)
Orizzonti Best Director: Mika Gustafson, “Paradise Is Burning”
Orizzonti Special Jury Prize: “Una Sterminata Domenica” (Alain Parroni)
Orizzonti Best Actress: Margarita Rosa de Francisco, “El Paraiso”
Orizzonti Best Actor: Tergel Bold-Erdene, “City of Wind”
Orizzonti Best Screenplay: “El Paraiso” (Enrico Maria Artale)
Orizzonti Best Short Film: “A Short Trip” (Erenik Beqiri)
Lion of the Future Award for a Debut Film: “Love Is a Gun” (Lee Hong-Chi)
Orizzonti Extra Audience Award — “Felicita” (Micaela Ramazzotti)
Venice Classics — Best Documentary: “Thank You Very Much” (Alex Braverman)
Venice Classics — Best Restored Film: “Moving” (Shinji Somai)
Venice Immersive Grand Prize: “Songs for a Passerby” (Celine Daemen)
Venice Immersive Achievement Prize: “Empereur” (Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen)
Venice Immersive Special Jury Prize: “Flow” (Adriaan Lokman)
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