Joker bags top honours at Venice Film Festival

Todd Phillips along with Joaquin Phoenix hold the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival.
Todd Phillips along with Joaquin Phoenix hold the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival.

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Joker won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice film festival Saturday with Roman Polanski controversially taking second prize.

The film is a take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix and is the first superhero film to ever get this kind sort of award.

The last two Venice winners - Roma and The Shape of Water - have gone on to lift the best picture Academy Award, popularly known as the Oscars.

Todd Phillips - the film's director who is known for Very Bad Trip - paid tribute to Phoenix's intense performance, saying he was "the fiercest, bravest and most open-minded lion that I know".

The movie, which The Guardian had described as "one of the boldest Hollywood productions for some time", has already sparked a heated debate.

And there were audible gasps when French-Polish director Polanski - a contreversial figure in Hollywood after his rape conviction - was handed the Grand Prix second prize for his Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer and a Spy.

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