While there is no one straight path to the Oscars, getting a movie out on the festival circuit - that's the Venice Film Festival, the Berlinale, Telleuride, Toronto - is a big part of it, and picking up awards along the way goes towards it.
Well, Todd Phillips' 'Joker' is now officially on the golden path to the Oscars, as it picked up the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Previous winners include Guillermo del Toro's 'The Shape of Water', Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma', Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain', and Darren Aronofsky's 'The Wrestler'.
Obviously, it's early days yet and no doubt anything could derail 'Joker' and its journey to the Oscars, but winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival is often the first step towards a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars in February.
It's way too early to be handing out predictions, of course, not to mention the fact that it's five whole months away and anything can happen between now and then. That said, expect to see the likes of 'Ad Astra', 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood', Netflix's 'The Irishman', and now, 'Joker' in the running for Best Picture.
You can be almost guaranteed Joaquin Phoenix is going to be in the running for Best Actor, too. He's going to hate that so much.
'Joker' arrives in Irish cinemas on October 4th.