The Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival goes to the film “Poor Things” by Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos. The jury announced this on Saturday evening. “Poor Things” is an experimental variation on the Frankenstein story starring US actress Emma Stone. Other roles include Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo – and German actress Hanna Schygulla can also be seen briefly.

The 50-year-old director Lanthimos is known for films such as “The Favorite – Intrigue and Madness”, “The Lobster” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”.

In the grotesque fairy tale “Poor Things,” Stone plays a pregnant woman who kills herself while fleeing her husband’s abuse. Scientist Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) finds her corpse, inserts her unborn child’s brain into it, and revives her. She is now called Bella and has the mental age of a child, but is constantly developing.

The audience follows Bella as she learns to move and speak. Eventually she escapes from the confines of Baxter’s house and gets to know life on her travels. Those around her are both irritated and fascinated by her unprejudiced and sexually permissive nature.

Spaeny honored as best actress

Other important prizes at the film festival went to the American Cailee Spaeny for her role in “Priscilla” (best actress), the American Peter Sarsgaard for his part in “Memory” (best actor) and the Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, who received the Grand Jury Prize for his film “Evil Does Not Exist” (Japanese: “Aku wa sonzai shinai”).

The most important awards at a glance

– Golden Lion for best film: “Poor Things” by Giorgos Lanthimos

– Grand Jury Prize: Ryusuke Hamaguchi for “Evil Does Not Exist” (Japanese: “Aku wa sonzai shinai”)

– Silver Lion for best director: Matteo Garrone for “Io capitano”

– Spezialpreis der Jury: “Green Border” von Agnieszka Holland

– Prize for Best Drawing: Pablo Larraín and Guillermo Calderón for “El Conde”

– Best Actress Award: Cailee Spaeny for “Priscilla” by Sofia Coppola

– Best Actor Award: Peter Sarsgaard for “Memory” by Michel Franco

– Marcello Mastroianni Prize for the best young actor: Seydou Sarr in “Io capitano”