Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” Wins Golden Lion in Venice

Yorgos Lanthimos with the Golden Lion for Best Film for
Yorgos Lanthimos with the Golden Lion for Best Film for "Poor Things" during the Winners Red Carpet at the 80th Venice Film Festival in September 2023. Photo by Marechal Aurore/ABACA/Shutterstock (14090886dc)

Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things was one of the most anticipated films premiering at this year’s Venice Film Festival—and it lived up to the hype. The surrealist black comedy led by Emma Stone won the prestigious Golden Lion in Venice following its world premiere.

Poor Things centers on an innocent young woman Bella (Stone), who’s eager to learn about the world around her after being brought back to life by the eccentric scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). The film puts a feminist twist on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its star-studded cast also includes Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, Margaret Qualley, and Kathryn Hunter.

Poor Things had to beat pretty tough competition in Venice to take the Golden Lion home, including Michael Mann’s Ferrari, David Fincher’s The Killer, and Sofia Copolla’s Priscilla. Lanthimos dedicated the award to Stone, and described her as the film’s driving force “in front and behind the camera.”

The list of major winners in Venice also included Silver Lion winner Evil Does Not Exist and Special Jury Prize winner Green Border. Memory’s Peter Sarsgaard and Priscilla’s breakout star Cailee Spaeny collected acting awards, while Matteo Garrone won Silver Lion for the best director for his work on Io Capitano.


Golden Lion
Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize
Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Silver Lion Best Director
Matteo Garrone, Io Capitano

Special Jury Prize
Green Border, Agnieszka Holland

Best Screenplay
Pablo Larrain and Guillermo Calderón, El Conde

Best Actress
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla

Best Actor
Peter Sarsgaard, Memory

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Seydou Sarr, Io Capitano

Best Film
Explanation For Everything, Gábor Reisz

Best Director
Mika Gustafson, Paradise Is Burning

Special Jury Prize
Una Sterminata Domenica, Alain Parroni

Best Actress
Margarita Rosa De Francisco, El Paraiso

Best Actor
Tergel Bold-Erdene, City of Wind

Best Screenplay
El Paraiso, Enrico Maria Artale

Best Short Film
A Short Trip, Erenik Beqiri

Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film
Love Is A Gun, Lee Hong-Chi

Audience Award
FELICITÀ (HAPPINESS), Micaela Ramazzotti


Best Documentary
Thank You Very Much, Alex Braverman

Best Restored Film


Grand Jury Prize
Songs For A Passerby, Celine Daemen

Special Jury Prize
Flow, Adriaan Lokman

Immersive Achievement Prize
Emperor, Marion Burger, Ilan Cohen