Film News: ‘Roma’ wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2018

While Netflix wasn't invited to the party in Cannes, the streaming giant came up on top in Venice. 

Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Roma, a tear-jerking Spanish-language drama centered around a Mexican family in the 1970’s and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, has been awarded the Golden Lion at the 75th Venice Film Festival.

The Mexican director, whose past films include Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Gravity, looked to his childhood for inspiration with Roma, with the story line based on the same live-in maid that looked after Cuarón as a boy in run-down Mexico City. Critics have universally praised the black-and-white film as “sublime”, a “masterpiece”, and “a complete triumph.” Last year’s winner of the prestigious Golden Lion was The Shape of Water.

Other films that premiered at the festival were the “infuriatingly silly” dance-horror drama Suspiria, the terrorism victim-turned-popstar tale Vox Lux, the country music love story A Star Is Born (of which Lady Gaga’s performance has been universally praised), and Damien Chazelle’s space biopic, Fist Man.

Olivia Colman scooped the Best Actress accolade for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the off-kilter Yorgos Lanthimos period comedy The Favourite, with attendees hailing her performance as a career-best. It’s certainly a busy year for the 44-year-old British actress, who will takeover from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s hit drama The Crown for its third season. The Favourite, which also won the festival’s second-most prestigious prize, the grand jury prize, co-stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

Willem Dafoe won the Best Actor award for his highly praised portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in the biopic At Eternity’s Gate, while Jennifer Kent won the special jury prize for The Nightingale.

Roma will be released in cinemas on 14 December 2018.

Words by Steph Green

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