2023 Venice Film Festival: Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” Collects 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)

This year’s Venice Film Festival was one for the books, and it brought countless amazing movies our way. Yorgos Lanthimos gave us one of the festival’s most talked-about new films with Poor Things, and this acclaimed black comedy eventually won the Golden Lion trophy.

Poor Things offers a feminist take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and it centers on a young Victorian woman Bella (Emma Stone) trying to forge her own path after being brought back to life by a mysterious scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). The film also stars Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, and Margaret Qualley.

Poor Things was met with rave reviews after its world premiere in Venice, and it defeated the likes of Michael Mann’s Ferrari, David Fincher’s The Killer, and Sofia Copolla’s Priscilla to win the festival’s most prestigious award—the Golden Lion. Lanthimos dedicated the victory to Stone and said this film is all her, both front and behind the camera.

When it comes to acting accolades, Memory’s Peter Sarsgaard and Priscilla’s star Cailee Spaeny collected the Volpi Cup for their respective performances. The list of major winners also included Evil Does Not Exist (Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize), Green Border (Special Jury Prize), and Io Capitano (Silver Lion Best Director for Matteo Garrone).


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