Roma Takes Venice

The Venice Film Festival has wrapped up its business with awards bestowed. Alfonso Cuaron’s autobiographical Mexico set drama Roma is the winner of the fest’s version of Best Picture – the Golden Lion.

This comes as no surprise. Roma has received rapturous reviews and it seems destined to compete at the Oscars in Best Picture and not just the Foreign Language race. It’s worth noting that last year’s Golden Lion recipient, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, went on to Oscar glory.

The Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize (basically runner-up) went to the Yorgos Lanthimos pic The Favourite, which has also achieved the status of a likely contender come Oscar time. Olivia Colman took the Best Actress trophy for her work in it. And Willem Dafoe is Best Actor as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate. Both performers appear primed to hear their names mentioned in the Academy’s nominees for their respective lead races.

If there was a surprise, it’s the Coen Brothers winning Best Screenplay for their Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs over Roma or The Favourite. While critical reaction appeared somewhat mixed, one wonders if this could still have enough admirers to be a player in future awards mixes.

All in all, Roma and The Favourite have solidified their place as true Oscar hopefuls.

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