AceShowbiz - Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron was the toast of the Venice International Film Festival on Saturday, September 8 as he was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for "Roma".
The new Netflix drama, which centres on two domestic workers who try to help a struggling mother-of-four in 1970s Mexico, claimed the Italian event's top prize for best film, beating the likes of Ryan Gosling's Neil Armstrong biopic "First Man", royal period piece "The Favourite", Luca Guadagnino's horror remake "Suspiria", and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's western, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs".
Director Guillermo del Toro headed up the jury selecting the main competition winners, and during the awards ceremony, it was revealed that "Roma" had triumphed in a unanimous decision, making it an early frontrunner for the 2019 Oscars.
However, there was also high praise for "The Favourite", which landed the Grand Jury Prize, considered the runner-up to the Golden Lion, while Olivia Colman earned the Best Actress accolade for her portrayal of 18th century British royal Queen Anne.
Willem Dafoe was named Best Actor for Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate, in which he plays painter Vincent van Gogh in his final days, and Best Screenplay went to Joel and Ethan Coen for "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs".
The Silver Lion for Best Director was given to Jacques Audiard for comedy western "The Sisters Brothers", and Australian gothic thriller "The Nightingale (2018)" was recognised with the Special Jury Prize, as well as the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer for indigenous actor Baykali Ganambarr.