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Goya Awards Nominations: Mercenary Viggo Mortensen vs. Manchega Penélope Cruz

Alatriste Viggo Mortensen: Goya Awards top film follows Spanish soldier turned assassin and Don JuanAlatriste with Viggo Mortensen. The Spanish Academy's Goya Awards' top nominee, Agustín Díaz Yanes' Alatriste received a total of 15 nods, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Díaz Yanes), and Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen). Spanish-speaking U.S. performer Mortensen (The Lords of the Rings trilogy, A History of Violence) plays the title character, 17th century Spanish soldier Diego Alatriste, who, when not fighting in the Eighty Years War (a.k.a. the Dutch War of Independence), gets a side job as a mercenary/hired assassin, romances a couple of good-looking women, etc. Díaz Yanes' period epic has turned out to be the most expensive Spanish production ever. Also in the Alatriste cast: Best Supporting Actor Goya nominee Juan Echanove, Best Supporting Actress Goya nominee Ariadna Gil, Javier Cámara, Eduardo Noriega, Elena Anaya, Unax Ugalde, Enrico Lo Verso, and Volver actress Blanca Portillo.

Spanish soldier battles La Mancha women: Goya Award nominations led by 'Alatriste' & 'Volver'

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 of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences' 2007 Goya Award nominations, announced on 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; Volver received 14.

Both Alatriste and Volver were nominated for Best Film, Best Director, and, respectively, Best Adapted Screenplay (Alatriste is a condensation of five novels by war correspondent-turned-author Arturo Pérez-Reverte) and Best Original Screenplay. Another key category, Best Film Editing, features Alatriste – but not Volver.

Alatriste is Agustín Díaz Yanes' third film as a director. His 1995 directorial debut, the crime drama Nobody Will Speak of Us When We're Dead / Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto won a total of eight Goyas, including Best Film, Best New Director, and Best Actress (Victoria Abril).

Two Pedro Almodóvar films have won the Best Film Goya: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown / Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) and All About My Mother / Todo sobre mi madre (1999). Almodóvar was also named Best Director for both.

Update: See further below the full list of the 2007 Goya Awards' winners and nominations. See also brief commentary re: 2007 Goya Award winners.

Viggo Mortensen & Penélope Cruz

Goya Award nominations for Alatriste and Volver in the acting categories went to the following:

  • American performer Viggo Mortensen is up for a Best Actor Goya for playing the title role in Alatriste. Besides, Juan Echanove and Ariadna Gil are in the running in the supporting categories.
  • Four of the six “key” actresses in Volver have had their work recognized: Penélope Cruz (as a 21st century Spanish version of Anna Magnani) is a Best Actress contender, while Carmen Maura (the mother), Lola Dueñas (the sister), and Blanca Portillo (the La Mancha neighbor) are all in the running for Best Supporting Actress.

All four – in addition to Yohana Cobo (the daughter) and Chus Lampreave (the aunt) – won an ensemble Best Actress award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

Cobo would have been a likely 2007 Best New Actress Goya nominee – except for the fact that the 21-year-old performer has been working in films and on television for more than a decade.

Volver Penélope Cruz: Goya Awards 2nd fave received 4 nominations in the acting categoriesVolver with Penélope Cruz. The Spanish Academy's Goya Awards' second favorite, Pedro Almodóvar's quirky comedy-drama Volver (lit., “To Return”) garnered 14 nominations, including nods in the Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Almodóvar), Best Actress (Penélope Cruz), and Best Supporting Actress (Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Alatriste actress Blanca Portillo) categories. Both Volver and Penélope Cruz are likely 2007 Academy Award contenders, while the four aforementioned actresses – plus Yohana Cobo and Chus Lampreave – won an ensemble Best Actress award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

'Manchego' reward

Pedro Almodóvar 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.”

Volver, which has earned more than €10 million in Spain – Alatriste has earned €16 million – is that country's entry (and the odds-on favorite) for the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Additionally, Penélope Cruz will in all probability receive a Best Actress nod as well. Volver has already won Best Director and Best Actress awards at the 2006 European Film Awards.

Almodóvar, by the way, has apparently made peace with the Spanish Film Academy; he and his brother, Agustín Almodóvar, had resigned in 2005, following the perceived snub of Bad Education / La Mala educación.

Guillermo del Toro's violent fantasy garners 13 nominations

Another multiple Goya Award nominee is Guillermo del Toro's Spanish-Mexican-American co-production Pan's Labyrinth / El laberinto del fauno, which garnered 13 nods. Del Toro's ultra-violent “fairy-tale for adults” – as he himself has described – follows the immersion a young girl (Ivana Baquero) into a fantasy world where she finds refuge from the oppressiveness of Gen. Francisco Franco's fascist regime.

Among the Goya nominations for Pan's Labyrinth are those in the following categories:

  • Best Film.
  • Best Actor for Sergi López, as the psychopathic army captain who lives by both the clock and 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.
  • Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Guillermo del Toro.

'Salvador (Puig Antich)'

Manuel Huerga's Salvador (Puig Antich) – no connection to the 1986 Oliver Stone political drama – is the fourth Best Film Goya Award nominee.

Salvador recounts the last days of Catalan anarchist/revolutionary Salvador Puig Antich, who was executed in 1974 after being convicted for taking part in a robbery that resulted in the death of a policeman. The execution led to an international outcry against the repressive regime of Gen. Francisco Franco – nearly four decades after the events that take place in Pan's Labyrinth.

Huerga's political drama received 11 Goya nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Catalunya-born Daniel Brühl in the title role. (Brühl was raised in Cologne to a Spanish mother and a German father.)

More Goya nominations

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 A Ton of Luck / Soñar no cuesta nada, respectively, Bolivia's and Colombia's submissions for the 2007 Oscars.

Also, Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay for Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, for the well-received drama Dark Blue Almost Black / Azuloscurocasinegro; and Best Actor for veteran Juan Diego, whose performance in Go Away from Me / Vete de mí has already earned him a Best Actor Award at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.

Bear in mind that Juan Diego and Juan Diego Botto are two different actors – in the same film. The latter earned a Best Supporting Actor Goya nod.

Tadeo Villalba & Woody Allen

And finally, producer Tadeo Villalba will receive an Honorary Award for his career and for his “contributions to Spanish cinema.”

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

As for Woody Allen's less than enthusiastically received, British-made murder comedy Scoop, starring Allen, Scarlett Johansson, and Hugh Jackman, it has been all but completely ignored this awards season in the United States. Some Spanish Academy voters, however, seem to have enjoyed it: Scoop is up for a Goya Award for Best European Film.

During the period of eligibility for this year's Goyas – Nov. 30 '05 to Dec. 1 '06 – 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 Jan. 28 '07.

Pan's Labyrinth trailer featuring Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, and Alatriste actress Ariadna Gil. Guillermo del Toro's dark, violent fairy-tale has been shortlisted for 13 Goya Awards.

Goya Awards: Winners and nominations

Best Film
Alatriste, directed by Agustín Díaz Yanes.
Pan's Labyrinth / El Laberinto del fauno, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Salvador, directed by Manuel Huerga.
* Volver, directed by Pedro Almodóvar.

Best European Film
Copying Beethoven, directed by Agnieszka Holland (United Kingdom).
The Wind That Shakes the Barley, directed by Ken Loach (Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom).
Scoop, directed by Woody Allen (United Kingdom).
* The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears (United Kingdom).

Best Spanish-Language Foreign Film
American visa, directed by Juan Carlos Valdivia (Bolivia).
In Bed / En la cama, directed by Matías Bizé (Chile).
* The Hands / Las Manos, directed by Alejandro Doria (Argentina).
A Ton of Luck / Soñar no cuesta nada, directed by Rodrigo Triana (Colombia).

Best Director
Agustín Díaz Yanes, Alatriste.
Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth
Manuel Huerga, Salvador.
* Pedro Almodóvar, Volver.

Best Actor
Daniel Brühl, Salvador.
* Juan Diego, Go Away from Me / Vete de mí.
Sergi López, Pan's Labyrinth
Viggo Mortensen, Alatriste.

Best Actress
Maribel Verdú, Pan's Labyrinth
Marta Etura, Dark Blue Almost Black / Azuloscurocasinegro.
* Penélope Cruz, Volver.
Silvia Abascal, Lady Nitwit / La Dama boba.

Best Supporting Actor
* Antonio de la Torre, Dark Blue Almost Black.
Juan Echanove, Alatriste.
Juan Diego Botto, Go Away from Me.
Leonardo Sbaraglia, Salvador.

Best Supporting Actress
Ariadna Gil, Alatriste.
Blanca Portillo, Volver.
* Carmen Maura, Volver.
Lola Dueñas, Volver.

Best Original Screenplay
Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Dark Blue Almost Black.
* Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth
Jorge Sánchez Cabezudo, The Night of the Sunflowers / La Noche de los girasoles.
Pedro Almodóvar, Volver.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Agustín Díaz Yanes, Alatriste.
Antonio Banderas, Summer Rain / El Camino de los ingleses.
José Luis Cuerda, The Education of Fairies / La Educación de las hadas.
* Lluis Ascarazo, Salvador.

Best New Director
Carlos Iglesias, Un franco, 14 pesetas.
* Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Dark Blue Almost Black.
Javier Rebollo, What I Know About Lola / Lo que sé de Lola.
Jorge Sánchez Cabezudo, The Night of the Sunflowers.

Best New Actor
Alberto Amarilla, Summer Rain.
Javier Cifrián, The Near East / El Próximo Oriente.
* Quim Gutiérrez, Dark Blue Almost Black.
Walter Vidarte, The Night of the Sunflowers.

Best New Actress
Ariana Ugarte, Doghead / Cabeza de perro.
* Ivana Baquero, Pan's Labyrinth
Bebe, The Education of Fairies.
Verónica Echegui, My Name Is Juani / Yo soy la Juani.

Best Executive / Line Producer
* Cristina Zumárraga, Alatriste.
Eduardo Santana, Ricardo García & Gido Simonetti, The Borgias / Los Borgia.
Barnat Elías, Salvador.
Antonio Norella, Volver.

Best Cinematography
David Omedes, Salvador.
* Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
José Luis Alcaine, Volver.
Paco Femenia, Alatriste.

Best Editing
* Bernat Villaplana, Pan's Labyrinth.
Iván Aledo, The Borgias.
José Salcedo, Alatriste.
Santy Borricón & Aixalá, Salvador.

Best Original Score
Roque Baños, Alatriste.
Javier Navarrete, Pan's Labyrinth
Lluís Llach, Salvador.
* Alberto Iglesias, Volver.

Best Art Direction
* Benjamín Fernández, Alatriste.
Bárbara Pérez Solero & María Stilde Ambruzzi, The Borgias.
Eugenio Caballero, Pan's Labyrinth.
Salvador Parra, Volver.

Best Costume Design
* Francesca Sartori, Alatriste.
Luciano Capocci, The Borgias.
Yvonne Blake, Goya's Ghosts / Los Fantasma de Goya.
Gina Daigeler, Volver.

Best Original Song
“Imaginarte,” by Alba Gárate, Dark Blue Almost Black.
“Bienvenido a casa,” by Calamaro & Limeón Trueba, Welcome Home / Bienvenido a casa.
* “Tiempo pequeño,” by Bebe & Lucio Corby, The Education of Fairies.
“Shockal fire ashe,” by Juan Bardem & Qazi Abdur Rahim, The Near East.

Best Makeup & Hair
José Luis Pérez, Alatriste.
* José Quetglas & Blanca Sánchez, Pan's Labyrinth
Ivana Primorae, Susana Sánchez & Manuel García, Goya's Ghosts.
Ana Lozano & Massimo Gattabrusi, Volver.

Best Special Effects
Reyes Abades & Rafael Solorzano, Alatriste.
* David Martí, Montse Ribe, Reyes Abades, Everett Burrell, Edward Irastorza & Emilio Ruiz, Pan's Labyrinth
Reyes Abades, Félix Berges & Eduardo Díaz, Goya's Ghosts.
Juan Ramón Molina & Ferrán Piquer, Salvador.

Best Sound
Pierre Gamet, Dominique Menegum & Grisolet, Alatriste.
* Miguel Polo & Martín Hernández, Pan's Labyrinth
Widgery, Calleja & James Muñoz, Salvador.
Miguel Rejas, Bermúdez, Laguna & Garrido, Volver.

Best Documentary Feature
* Cinestas en acción, directed by Carlos Benpar.
Hecuba, a Dream of Passion / Hecuba, un sueño de pasión, directed by Arantxa Aguirre & José Luis López-Linares.
Beyond the Mirror / Más allá del espejo, directed by Joaquín Jordá.
Fernando's Chair / La Silla de Fernando, directed by Luis Alegre & David Trueba.

Best Animated Feature
De profundis, directed by Miguelanxo Prado.
The Magic Cube / El Cubo mágico, directed by Ángel Izquierdo.
* Pérez, the Little Mouse of Your Dreams / Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños, directed by Juan Pablo Buscarini.
Teo, Intergalactic Hunter / Teo, cazador intergaláctico, directed by Sergio Bayo.

Best Narrative Short
* A ciegas, directed by Salvador Gómez Cuenca.
Contracuerpo, directed by Eduardo Chapero-Jackson.
Equipajes, directed by Toni Bestard.
La Guerra, directed by Luiso Berdejo & Jorge C. Dorado.
Propiedad privada, directed by Ángeles Muñiz Cachón.

Best Animated Short
Another Way, directed by Alfredo García Revuelta.
Broken Wild, directed by Juan Carlos Mostaza.
* Said's Trip / El Viaje de Said, directed by Coke Riobóo.
Until Death / Hasta la muerte, directed by Juan Pérez-Fajardo.
The Night of the Uglies / La Noche de los feos, directed by Manuel González Mauricio.

Best Documentary Short
Abandoned / Abandonati / Abandonados, directed by Joan Soler Foyé.
* Castañuela 70, the Forbidden Theater / Castañuela 70, el teatro prohibido, directed by Manuel Calvo & Olga Margallo.
Casting, directed by Koen Suidgeest.
Joe K, directed by Óscar de Julián.
La Serenísima, directed by Gonzalo Bellester.

Honorary Award
Producer Tadeo Villalba.

 

Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences website.

Viggo Mortensen Alatriste image: 20th Century Fox.

Penélope Cruz Volver image: Sony Pictures Classics.


         
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