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Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

Christian Petzoldt (Transit)
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
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'Roma' and 'The Favourite' win Venice

by Murtada Elfadl 

Cuaron with Lion

As expected Roma and The Favourite won the biggest prizes at this year’s Venice Film Festival main competition. The two films screened on the same day and were both raved and loved equally. Roma, a story that Alfonso Cuarón based on his memories growing up in 1970’s Mexico City, has been hailed as both personal and epic which bodes well for its awards success...

Cuarón follows his friend and Jury President Guillermo Del Toro in winning the Golden Lion. The Favourite won the Grand Jury Prize i.e. second place.

Olivia with Volpi

In addition the jury, which included Naomi Watts, Taika Waititi and Sylvia Chang, awarded The Favourite’s Olivia Colman best actress. This marks the first of (we think) many prizes for her this year. Her performance as Queen Anne, who's at the center of a treacherous sapphic love triangle, has been critically singled out as first amongst equals. Conceivably awarding only her and not sharing the award with co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, might settle the decision on which category she’ll be campaigned for the Oscar.

Baykali with Naomi

The only female director in competition, The Babadook's Jennifer Kent, won third place for The Nightingale, a violent revenge story set in 1800's Tasmania. One of the film’s actors, Baykali Ganambarr, won the young performer award. Willem Dafoe won best actor for his performance as Vincent van Gogh in Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate. The Coens won best screenplay for their Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Another western, The Sisters Brothers, won Jacques Audiard best director. Very well done English language films!

The unofficial Queer Lion went to José by Li Cheng, a Guatemalan film about a random hookup that turns into a grand passion that forces pain and self reflection. Here is the full list of winners in the main competition:

Golden Lion: Roma, Alfonso Cuarón.

Grand Jury Prize: The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Silver Lion for Best Director: Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers.

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Olivia Colman, The Favourite.

Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate.

Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Special Jury Prize: The Nightingale, Jennifer Kent.

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Baykali Ganambarr, The Nightingale.

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Reader Comments (21)

Hope that Willem Dafoe is The One!

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

I am soooo happy for Olivia Colman... I have loved everything she has ever done.... especially Broadchurch.

I hope she takes it all the way to Oscar!!

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Does this mean we have 2 frontrunners now,maybe it's Dafoe the veteran who wins rather than Close and do Wiesz and Stone go supporting..

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I swear, Netflix, if I have to watch Roma on a damn TV screen...

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I love all the winners. Italians always make me happy.

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue


September 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter_

Glenn close may be a 7 time loser.

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I wish Colman and Dafoe get nominated.
I still want Phoenix and Close to win though.

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

May as well put Colman in supporting now so that she can lock up that category. No one is being talked about there yet. Some years after the fests you can have a front runner declared like Oldman last year or Stone the year before. The year before that the four front runners after TIFF took it all the way - Arquette, Simmons, Redmayne and Moore.

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

As a mexican i'm so pleased to watch our talented directors and his films being awarded.

At first, 3 mexican directors win in cannes in a lapse of 8 years.
After that 3 mexican directors win the Oscar in a lapse of 5 years.
And now there's two consecutive mexican-director films that win in Venice.

If the tradition continues and the next years a film directed by a mexican wins i just hope that it wasn't an Iñarritu's film, not because i don't like him is just that i really wish that people could know another of our directors as Felipe Cazals, Gabriel Retes, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Julian Hernandez, Fernando Eimbcke and many more.

The worst thing about it is that even in our country most of the people not knows much about the beautiful and diverse richnes of our cinematography.

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCesar Gaytan

Alfonso is not with the two hands on

Best picture
Best director
Best foreign film

Because of Netflix. The Tabu around Netflix.

Olivia is lock for a nomination for best actress and that makes me really happy.
The same for Dafoe. But the two of them are not considered "winners" because of

Glenn Close and Amy Adams (supporting? Leading?)
Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling.

Now we only have to see "If Beale street could talk" is that good and if 20th Century Fox will do the honors for James Gray's Ad Astra.

If the two are not good, Alfonso is the early winner. No matter what they think about Netflix.

And if we get

Alfonso wins Best Picture, Directing and F L Film
The Favourite winning Original Screenplay and Costumes
Willed or Bale best actors
Glenn best actress
Amy or Regina best supporting actress
Lady Gaga best original song
James Gray, Adam McKay, Damien Chazelle, Tilda, Guadagnino, Viola, Melissa, Emma, Rachel, and more no-white people nominated

Will be my best oscars in a long time!

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJon

An overdue Oscar for Willem Dafoe? PLEASE!!!!!

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Does this mean Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are pushed for supporting? Even though this film obviously sounds like a three-person lead?

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Good news for Weisz: with Colman in Best Actress, she's a clear candidate for Best Supporting Actress race (which is much weaker than Best Actress' this year... I mean, Best Actress is going to be a bloodbath and we'll cry for a lot of brilliant Oscar-snubed performances for centuries to come)

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEd

OMFG!! I'm sooooo elated!! 😁

I juz fin reading all the reviews of Venice Film Fest n tinking tt Dafoe n the three ladies in The Favourite might win the Volpi! I was technically rite! 😀

I guess rather than giving a three way tie ala the Silver Berlin to The Hours' ladies, the jury went w the Best in Show n the lesser known of the trio. Bravo Venice!!

I tink Dafoe now has the same overdue advantage ala Close n he def has an edge over the rest since many still thot he was robbed at this yr oscars.

Colman however, stands a much much tougher competition if she goes lead. If she goes supp, she'll hav a huge advantage over Amy Adams n might juz win!! 😁

Of cos this will b category fraud but I tink the studio will be v careful in playing their cards if they want the gold. Metink Stone will still go Lead, n Colman n Weisz supp....n Colman wins!!!!

Imagine Close, Dafoe n Colmam as winners next Oscars!! ♥ ♥ ♥

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I am IN if the academy changes the best supporting actor this year for "best actress category fraud".

If they do this we could have

Best actress: Gleen Melissa Viola Nicole Carey Emily Charlize Gaga (Please, God: NO GAGA!)
Best supporting actress: Regina Claire Nicole
Best category fraud actress: Olivia Amy Emma Rachel

September 8, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJon

I'm in love with Venice !

September 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

How can Amy Adams be accused of "category fraud" when no one has even seen her film yet?

September 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My favourite people are getting awards, Cuaron and Coleman. Olivia Coleman is about to become a household name. It's like they are making films just for me.

September 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Jon, I just don't see ROMA winning BOTH best picture and best foreign language film. If any film was going to do that, it would have been CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, and it lost best picture--and to friggin' GLADIATOR of all things. There is the added factor of the threat of the "best popular film" category coming back, which most Academy members do not want to see happen, which is a sure bet if the best picture award of 2018 goes to a black and white Mexican film, in Spanish, and a neo-realist coming of age film at that. ABC will have a fit. That's all but begging for a new category. I just think that if people are filling out their ballots and have a chance to vote for ROMA for best foreign language film (and maybe even best director), they're going to want to spread the love and give best picture to A STAR IS BORN or BLACK PANTHER to forestall the new category.

September 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

Yay! So happy for Colman and Kent. Can't wait to see their films.

September 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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