2023 Venice Film Festival: “Poor Things” Starring Emma Stone Wins Golden Lion

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)

Some of the year’s most anticipated films premiered at the Venice Film Festival, but only one could walk away with the Golden Lion. That honor was bestowed upon Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos’ surrealist black comedy starring the Oscar winner Emma Stone.

The competition for the festival’s most prestigious award was as strong as it gets, and it included David Fincher’s The Killer, Sofia Copolla’s Priscilla, and Michael Mann’s Ferrari, among other acclaimed projects. Lanthimos eventually took the Golden Lion home following the enormous success of Poor Things and dedicated this victory to the leading lady, Emma Stone.

Poor Things stars Stone as a young woman Bella, who tries to find her own path after being brought back to life by an eccentric scientist (Willem Dafoe). The film also stars Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, Margaret Qualley, and Kathryn Hunter.

Poor Things wasn’t the only film to win big in Venice. The list of major award recipients also included Evil Does Not Exist (Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize) and Green Border (Special Jury Prize). Memory’s Peter Sarsgaard and Priscilla’s Cailee Spaeny were awarded for their acting performances, while Matteo Garrone was named the best director for his work on Io Capitano.

The 80th Venice International Film Festival took place between August 30 and September 9, with the La La Land director Damien Chazelle presiding over the main competition jury.


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