Guillermo Del Toro Wins the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion for The Shape of Water

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Guillermo del Toro with the Golden Lion for Best Film. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water was awarded the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice Film Festival on Saturday, a triumphant end to a week’s worth of rave reviews and Oscar buzz. The film, a romantic monster movie starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, premiered on the Lido on August 31, and was quickly hailed by many as the festival’s — and del Toro’s (at least since Pan’s Labyrinth) — best movie. It’s also the first English-language movie to win Venice’s top prize since Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere in 2010. Placing second, the Grand Jury Prize recipient was the Israeli military drama Foxtrot, which similarly wowed critics upon its premiere at Telluride last week.

Other notable winners include Lean on Pete breakout Charlie Plummer for best young performer; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri writer-director Martin McDonagh for best screenplay — a significant boost since he’s emerged as a serious Oscar contender for the movie alongside stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell; and the always-excellent Charlotte Rampling, of the Italian drama Hannah, for Best Actress. See the complete list below.

VENICE 74

Golden Lion
The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro

Grand Jury Prize
Foxtrot, directed by Samuel Maoz

Silver Lion — Best Director
Xavier Legrand, Jusqu’à la Garde

Volpi Cup — Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling, Hannah

Volpi Cup — Best Actor
Kamel El Basha, The Insult

Best Screenplay
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Special Jury Prize
Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete

VENICE HORIZONS

Best Film
Nico, 1988, directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli

Best Director
Vahid Jalilvand, No Date, No Signature

Special Jury Prize
Caniba, directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

Best Actress
Lyna Khoudri, Les Bienheureux

Best Actor
Navid Mohammadzadeh, No Date, No Signature

Best Screenplay
Los Versos Del Olvido, directed by Alireza Khatami

Best Short Film
Gros Chagrin, directed by Céline Devaux

Lion of the Future — “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film
Jusqu’à la Garde, directed by Xavier Legrand

VENICE CLASSICS

Best Restoration
Idi I Smotri, directed by Elem Klimov

Best Documentary on Cinema
The Prince and the Dybbuk, directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski

VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY

Best VR
Arden’s Wake (Expanded), directed by Eugene YK Chung

Best VR Experience
La Camera Insabbiata, directed by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang

Best VR Story
Bloodless, directed by Gina Kim

Guillermo Del Toro, Charlotte Rampling Win Top Venice Honors