Dark ‘Joker’ wins top Venice Film Festival prize

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix receive the Golden Lion for Best Film Award for ‘Joker’ during the Award Ceremony during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

VENICE — Todd Phillips’ dark comic book film “Joker” has won the Golden Lion Award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

Jury president Lucretia Martel on Saturday announced this year’s winners of the prestigious award. The Golden Lion previously has spotlighted films that went to be major awards season players, such as “Roma” and “The Shape of Water.”

Phillips thanked Warner Bros. and DC for taking a bold swing with the movie, and his star, Joaquin Phoenix, for trusting him.

Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus affair film, “An Officer and a Spy,” won the grand jury prize. Polanski was not in attendance to accept the award.

Luca Marinelli won best actor for “Martin Eden,” and Ariane Ascaride took the best actress prize for the French domestic drama “Gloria Mundi.”

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