The 76th Annual Venice Film Festival came to a close this weekend, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming film “Joker” took home the top prize. The movie, directed by Todd Phillips, is the origin story of the Joker from DC’s Batman franchise, and it’s the first movie from a superhero franchise to win the Golden Lion.
Joaquin Phoenix attended the event in support of the film, which was making its worldwide premiere. In the movie, Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who eventually becomes the archnemesis for Bruce Wayne. Phillips also produced and co-wrote the film, which releases on October 4th. The movie also features Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. Along with Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger served as producers on the project, with Richard Baratta, Michael Uslan, Joseph Garner, and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers. Lawrence Sher was the director of photography on the movie.
The Golden Lion could be Joaquin Phoenix’s first stop on the Oscar express, but he wouldn’t be the first Joker to win an Oscar. Heath Ledger won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in “The Dark Knight,” though the award was given to Ledger after his death.
The Silver Lion/Grand Jury Prize was awarded to “J’Accuse,” from director Roman Polanski. The story follows the real-life Dreyfus affair, about the trial and conviction of a French military officer accused of being a German spy in 1894. Roy Andersson’s won the Best Director prize for “Om det oändliga (About Endlessness).” Andersson is a fellow Golden Lion winner, taking home the prize in 2014 for his work on “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.”
Ariane Ascaride and Luca Marinelli took home the acting prizes, and the Special Jury Award went to “La Mafia non è più quella di una volta” by Franco Maresco.
“Joker” is getting the weekend to itself on October 4th, but the following week it will have to battle the animated-comedy “The Addams Family” and Will Smith’s “Gemini Man.” That’s the same weekend that Adam Devine’s comedy “Jexi” opens in theaters nationwide. The other big October releases are “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” and “Zombieland 2: Double Tap,” which are opening on the same weekend.
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