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Goya Awards Nominations: Viggo Mortensen & Pedro Almodóvar

Viggo Mortensen in Alatriste
Lola Duenas, Yohana Cobo, Penélope Cruz in Volver
Viggo Mortensen in Alatriste (top); Lola Dueñas, Yohana Cobo, Penélope Cruz in Volver (bottom)

Agustín Díaz Yanes'17th-century tale of a Spanish soldier turned mercenary, Alatriste, and Pedro Almodóvar's story of the women of La Mancha, Volver, dominated the Spanish Film Academy's 2007 Goya Award nominations announced yesterday, Dec. 18, by actors Pilar López de Ayala and Juan José Ballesta. Alatriste, the most expensive Spanish film ever made (€24 million), received a total of 15 nods, while Volver received 14.

Both Alatriste and Volver were nominated for best film, best director, and, respectively, for best adapted screenplay (Alatriste is a cinematic condensation of five novels by Arturo Pérez Reverte) and best original screenplay. (Curiously, Volver failed to get a best editing nod, though Alatriste was shortlisted in that category.)

Alatriste is Díaz Yanes' third film as a director. His 1995 directorial debut, the crime drama Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto / Nobody Will Speak of Us When We're Dead won eight Goyas.

Two Almodóvar films have won the best film Goya: Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios / Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and Todo sobre mi madre / All About My Mother (1999).

Lola Duenas in Volver

American actor Viggo Mortensen received a best actor nomination for playing the title role in Alatriste, while four of the five chief actresses in Volver have had their work recognized: Penélope Cruz as best actress, and Carmen Maura (the mother), Lola Dueñas (the sister, above), and Blanca Portillo (the La Mancha neighbor) in the best supporting actress category. (All four – plus Yohana Cobo, the daughter – won an ensemble best actress award at this year's Cannes Film Festival. I should add that Cobo couldn't have been nominated for the best new actress Goya because the 21-year-old actress has been working in films and television for more than a decade.)

Pedro Almodóvar (right) remarked that the 14 nominations for Volver were “a reward for my manchego [of La Mancha] surroundings, which helped me to create this film; like my sisters who, with their recollections, served as co-screenwriters.” (The director has apparently made peace with the Spanish Film Academy; he and his brother, Agustín Almodóvar, had resigned in 2005, following the perceived snub of his La Mala educación / Bad Education.)

Volver, which has earned more than €10 million in Spain (Alatriste has earned €16 million), is that country's entry for the 2007 best foreign language film Oscar – and it is by far the favorite to win. Additionally, the film's star, Penélope Cruz, in all probability will receive a best actress nod as well. Volver has already won best director and best actress awards at this year's European Film Awards.

Ivana Baquero in Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro

Another multiple Goya nominee was Guillermo del Toro's Spanish-Mexican-American co-production El laberinto del fauno / Pan's Labyrinth (above), which garnered 13 nods. Del Toro's ultra-violent “fairy-tale for adults” – as he himself described it at the Los Angeles AFI FEST in November – follows a young girl's immersion into a fantasy world where she finds refuge from the oppressiveness of General Francisco Franco's Fascist regime.

Among the nominations for Pan's Labyrinth are those for best film; best actor for Sergi López, excellent as the psychopathic captain who lives by the clock and by the gun; best actress for Maribel Verdú, as the captain's tough anti-Fascist servant; best new actress for Ivana Baquero, as the girl whose boundless imagination both dooms and saves her; and best director and best original screenplay for del Toro.

Daniel Bruhl in Salvador

Manuel Huerga's Salvador was the fourth best film nominee. Salvador recounts the last days of Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, who was executed in 1974. The political drama received 11 nominations, including a best actor nod for Daniel Brühl (above). (Though raised in Cologne, Brühl was actually born in Catalunya to a Spanish mother and a German father.)

Other nominations include best European film for Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Stephen Frears' The Queen; and best Spanish-language foreign film for Juan Carlos Valdivia's American visa and Rodrigo Triana's Soñar no cuesta nada / A Ton of Luck, respectively, Bolivia's and Colombia's submissions for the 2007 Oscars.

DarkBlueAlmostBlack by Daniel Sanchez Arevalo

Also, best new director and best original screenplay for Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, for the well-received drama Azuloscurocasinegro / DarkBlueAlmostBlack (above); and best actor for veteran Juan Diego, whose performance in Vete de mí / Go Away from Me has already earned him a best actor award at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival. (Juan Diego is not to be confused with Juan Diego Botto, who earned a best supporting actor nod for the same film.)

Producer Tadeo Villalba will receive an Honorary Award for his career and for his “contributions to Spanish cinema.” In the past, Villalba has worked as “production manager” (apparently, the Spanish version of “line producer” or “executive producer”) for both of this year's top Goya nominees: Pedro Almodóvar (Entre tinieblas / Dark Habits and ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!! / What Have I Done to Deserve This) and Agustín Díaz Yanes (Nobody Will Speak of Us When We're Dead).

And finally, I was glad to discover that I'm not the only person who enjoyed Woody Allen's Scoop. The British-made murder comedy, which was panned by most U.S. critics, is up for a Goya Award for best European film.

During the period of eligibility for this year's Goyas – Nov. 30, 2005, to Dec. 1, 2006 – 133 Spanish films were released.

The Goya Awards ceremony will be held at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos del Campo de las Naciones in Madrid on the last weekend of January 2007.


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1 Comment to Goya Awards Nominations: Viggo Mortensen & Pedro Almodóvar

  1. The official website is at http://www.academiadecine.com/
    and seems to be working just fine now.