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Oscar in Spanish? Controversial Nominees + Pedro Almodóvar & Penélope Cruz

Penélope Cruz in Broken Embraces
Jordi Molla in The Consul from Sodom
Penélope Cruz in Broken Embraces (Emilio Pereda & Paola Ardizzoni / El Deseo / Sony Pictures Classics) (top); Jordi Mollà in El cónsul de Sodoma (Steinweg Emotion Pictures) (bottom).
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

In the Spanish-language website Filmin, “questions without answers” are asked about the selections for the Spanish Academy’s 2010 Goya Awards. A few of the questions, e.g., “who will win Best Actress this year” can only be answered at the Goya ceremony next Feb. 14. Several questions, however, are just plain unanswerable – at least from a logical (or personal) standpoint.

For example, Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces was up for a Golden Palm in Cannes. Starring Lluís Homar and Penélope Cruz, Almodóvar’s homage to old Hollywood film noirs has also won several critics’ awards in the United States, and is up for a Golden Globe for best foreign language film. It’s also been shortlisted by the British Academy. But at the Goyas, it failed to get either a best picture or best director nomination. Almodóvar had to be satisfied with a best original screenplay nod. At Filmin, the writer asks, “What’s so special about the Broken Embraces subtitles?”

Another question: “Is Soledad Villamil a newcomer?” Nominated in the best female newcomer category for the mystery drama The Secret in Their Eyes, Villamil is a 40-year-old Argentinean actress who won Argentina’s top film award about a dozen years ago for Same Love Same Rain / El mismo amor, la misma lluvia. Her film debut took place nearly two decades ago, in 1991.

And here’s another: “What will [respected Catalan author] Juan Marsé think?” … about the six nominations received by the biopic El cónsul de Sodoma / The Consul from Sodom. Starring best actor nominee Jordi Mollà as renowned poet Jaime Gil de Biedma, the film was adapted by Goya nominees Joaquin Górriz, Miguel Ángel Fernández, Miguel Dalmau, and director Sigfrid Monleón, from Dalmau’s own book, Jaime Gil de Biedma.

Marsé reportedly referred to El cónsul de Sodoma as “grotesque, ridiculous, phony, absurd, dirty, pedantic, directed by an incompetent and ignorant fool, badly acted, with deplorable dialogue. It’s a shameless film, with an infamous title and produced by unscrupulous people.”

So, when the Oscar nominations are announced in early February, if you find anything grotesque, ridiculous, phony, absurd, dirty, pedantic, directed by incompetents, badly acted, with deplorable dialogue, and/or produced by unscrupulous people – and you probably will – just remember that similar reactions greet the choices made by other film academies in other parts of the world. I’m not sure that’ll be any consolation, but it’ll be the truth.

Daniel Monzón’s prison drama Cell 211 and Alejandro Amenábar’s historical blockbuster Ágora (a.k.a. Mists of Time), with respectively 16 and 13 nominations, are the two leaders in the race for the 2010 Premios Goya (or 2010 Goya Awards), the Spanish Academy Awards. Actress Paz Vega and filmmaker Javier Fesser, accompanied by Academy president Alex de la Iglesia, made the announcements earlier today in Madrid.

Besides Cell 211 and Ágora, the two other best picture nominees are Fernando Trueba’s The Dancer and the Thief, Spain’s submission for the best foreign language film Academy Award, and Argentinean filmmaker Juan Jose Campanella’s Buenos Aires-set psychological thriller The Secret in Their Eyes – which, curiously, is also up for the best Spanish-language foreign film. Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces received five nominations, including a best actress nod for Penélope Cruz and best original screenplay for Almodóvar.

Among the acting nominees are Argentinean veteran Ricardo Darín for The Secret in Their Eyes, Oscar winner Rachel Weisz for Ágora, Maribel Verdú for Tetro, Lola Dueñas for Yo, también, Luis Tosar for Cell 211, and Jordi Mollá for El cónsul de Sodoma.

Carlos Bardem, Javier Bardem’s brother, is up for the best supporting actor Goya for Cell 211. Among his competitors is Ricardo Darín, here for The Dancer and the Thief.

The 2010 Goya Award winners will be announced on Feb. 14.

Below is a partial list of the 2010 Goya nominees (via Tio Oscar).

Best Film
Agora / Mists of Time
Celda 211 / Cell 211
El baile de la Victoria / The Dancer and the Thief
El secreto de sus ojos / The Secret of Her Eyes

Best Spanish-Language Foreign Film
Dawson: Isla 10
El secreto de sus ojos
La teta asustada / The Milk of Sorrow

Best European Film
Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis
Let the Right One In
The Class
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Animated Feature
Animal Channel
Cher ami
Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños 2
Planet 51

Best Director
Alejandro Amenábar, Agora
Fernando Trueba, El baile de la Victoria
Juan José Campanella, El secreto de sus ojos
Daniel Monzón, Celda 211

Best New Director
Álvaro Pastor y Antonio Naharro, Yo, también
Borja Cobeaga, Pagafantas
David Planell, La vergüenza
Mar Coll, Tres días con la familia

Best Actress
Lola Dueñas, Yo, también
Maribel Verdú, Tetro
Penélope Cruz, Los abrazos rotos / Broken Embraces
Rachel Weisz, Agora

Best Actor
Ricardo Darín, El secreto de sus ojos
Antonio de la Torre, Gordos
Jordi Mollá, El cónsul de Sodoma
Luis Tosar, Celda 211

Best Supporting Actress
Marta Etura, Celda 211
Pilar Castro, Gordos
Verónica Sánchez, Gordos
Vicky Peña, El cónsul de Sodoma

Best Supporting Actor
Antonio Resines, Celda 211
Carlos Bardem, Celda 211
Raúl Arévalo, Gordos
Ricardo Darín, El baile de la Victoria

Best Female Newcomer
Blanca Romero, After
Soledad Villamil, El secreto de sus ojos
Leticia Herrero, Gordos
Nausicaa Bonnin, Tres días con la familia

Best Male Newcomer
Alberto Ammann, Celda 211
Fernando Albizu, Gordos
Gorka Otxoa, Pagafantas
Pablo Pineda, Yo, también

Best Original Screenplay
Alberto Rodríguez Librero, Rafael Cobos, After
Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil, Agora
Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Gordos
Pedro Almodóvar, Los abrazos rotos

Best Adapted Screenplay
Antonio Skármeta, Fernando Trueba, Jonás Trueba, El baile de la Victoria
Daniel Monzón, Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Celda 211
Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José Campanella, El secreto de sus ojos
Jaoquin Górriz, Miguel Ángel Fernández, Miguel Dalmau, Sigfrid Monleon, El cónsul de Sodoma

Best Score
Alberto Iglesias, Los abrazos rotos
Dario Marianelli, Agora
Roque Baños López, Celda 211
Federico Jusid, El secreto de sus ojos

Best Song
‘Agallas vs. Escamas’, de Agallas
‘Stick to the Man’, de Planet 51
‘Spanish Song’, de Spanish Movie
‘Yo también’, de Yo, también

Goya & WGA Award Nominations: Awards schedule

The Spanish Academy’s Goya Award nominations, the Writers Guild nominations, and the Vancouver Film Critics’ winners are some of the film-award announcements to come in the next few days. Potential Goya nominees include Broken Embraces, Pedro Almodóvar, and Penélope Cruz.

The Toronto Film Critics will also announce their Best Canadian Film winner, while the American Society of Cinematographers will name their nominees. Expect James Cameron’s Avatar (Mauro Fiore) to be shortlisted by the ASC, along with Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (Barry Ackroyd), and quite possibly Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones (Andrew Lesnie) and Rob Marshall’s Nine (Dion Beebe) as well.

Jan. 9 – Goya nominations

Jan. 11 – Writers Guild nominations

Jan 11 – American Society of Cinematographers nominations

Jan 11 – Vancouver Film Critics winners

Jan. 12 – Toronto Film Critics’ Best Canadian Film winner

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ up for four Swedish Oscars

Box-office sensation The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is up for a Guldbagge (Golden Beetle) Award for the best Swedish picture of 2009. Strangely, director Niels Arden Oplev wasn’t nominated – The Girl‘s Fredrik Edfeldt took his place – though Noomi Rapace (above) is in the running for best actress. A surprise blockbuster, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has earned more than $100 million at the international box office. In the film, Rapace plays a computer hacker who helps uncover (somewhat literally) a number of skeletons in the past of a powerful family.

The two other Guldbagge nominees for best picture also focus on young women: in Teresa Fabik’s Starring Maja, an overweight small-town teenager struggles to become an actress, while in Lisa Siwe’s Glowing Stars, a teenage girl tries to cope with the fact that her mother is dying.

Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Still Walking, and Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir are the three best foreign film nominees.

The winners will be announced on Jan. 25.

Photo: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Nordisk Films)

Guldbagge nominations

Best Picture
Starring Maja, Prod.: Sandra Harms
Glowing Stars, Prod.: Anders Landström
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Prod.: Søren Stærmose

Best Foreign Language Film
The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke
Still Walking, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman

Best Documentary
Ebbe – The Movie, Karin af Klintberg, Jane Magnusson
The Queen and I, Nahid Persson Sarvestani
Videocracy, Erik Gandini

Best Director
Teresa Fabik, Starring Maja
Lisa Siwe, Glowing Stars
Fredrik Edfeldt, The Girl

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Malin Crépin, In Your Veins
Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stina Ekblad, A Rational Solution

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Olle Sarri, The Ape
Björn Starrin, The Wedding Photographer
Claes Ljungmark, A Rational Solution

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Annika Hallin, Glowing Stars
Anki Lidén, Glowing Stars
Tova Magnusson-Norling, The Girl

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Joel Kinnaman, Johan Falk
Kjell Bergqvist, The Wedding Photographer
Sven-Bertil Taube, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Screenplay
Teresa Fabik, Starring Maja
Ulf Malmros, The Wedding Photographer
Karin Arrhenius, The Girl

Best Cinematography
Peter Mokrosinski, The Girl Who Played with Fire
Hoyte van Hoytema, The Girl
Eric Kress, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Short Film
Dreams from the Woods, Johannes Nyholm
Scratches, Gabriela Pichler
Good Friend of Mr. World, Axel Petersén

Kerry Fox Anamaria Marinca Storm
Kerry Fox and Anamaria Marinca in Storm (Zentropa).

‘The White Ribbon’ & ‘Storm’: German Film Critics’ nominations

Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon is one of the nominees for the German Film Critics Association’s best picture award. Set in a small German town prior to the outbreak of World War I, Haneke’s stark drama received four nominations: best picture, actor (Burghardt Klaussner), screenplay, and cinematography. The 2009 Palme d’Or and European Film Award winner has been well-received in the United States, though it has surprisingly failed to win many awards from American critics’ groups. The White Ribbon is German’s submission for the 2010 best foreign language film Academy Award.

The German critics’ other top nominee is Hans-Christian Schmid’s political drama Storm, also with four nods including best picture. Starring Kerry Fox, Anamaria Marinca, and Stephen Dillane, Storm chronicles events resulting from an investigation of war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia.

The other best picture nominees are Sandra Nettlebeck’s Helen, starring Ashley Judd; Marcus H. Rosenmuller’s period drama Little White Lies; Florian Gallenberger’s German Film Award-winning World War II drama John Rabe, starring Ulrich Tukur (who also stars in The White Ribbon) as an East Asian version of Oskar Schindler; Andreas Dresen’s film industry spoof Whisky with Vodka, with Corinna Harfouch; and Alain Gsponer’s romantic comedy Lila, Lila, with Daniel Brühl and Hannah Herzsprung.

Curiously, Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen wasn’t shortlisted among the best picture nominees.

The winners will be announced at the Berlin Film Festival, which runs Feb. 11–21.

Below is a partial list of nominees:

Feature film
The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band), Michael Haneke
Little White Lies (Die Perlmutterfarbe) Marcus H. Rosenmüller
Helen, Sandra Nettelbeck
John Rabe
, Florian Gallenberger
My Word, My Lies, My Love – Lila, Lila, Alain Gsponer
Storm (Sturm), Hans-Christian Schmid
Whisky With Vodka
(Whisky Mit Wodka),  Andreas Dresen

Feature Film Debut
The Red Spot (Der Rote Punkt), Marie Miyayama
Evet, Ich Will!,  Sinan Akkus
Hangtime (Kein Leichtes Spiel), Wolfgang Groos
Salami Aleikum, Ali Samadi Ahadi
Teenage Angst,  Thomas Stuber
Weltstadt, Christian Klandt

Achterbahn, Peter Dörfler
Harlan – Im Schatten Von Jud Suss, Felix Moeller
Henners Traum, Klaus Stern
Material, Thomas Heise
Zum Vergleich. Harun Farocki

Iris Berben, The Day Will Come (Es KIommt Der Tag)
Corinna Harfouch, This Is Love
Birgit Minichmayr, Everyone Else (Alle Anderen)
Mina Tander, Maria, He Doesn’t Like It! (Maria, Ihm Schmeckt’s Nicht!)
Nadja Uhl, So Glücklich War Ich Noch Nie

Lars Eidinger, Everyone Else
Walter Giller, Dinosaurier
Burghardt Klaussner, The White Ribbon
Devid Striesow, So Glücklich War Ich Noch Nie
Ulrich Tukur, John Rabe

Source: Screen International

Maxim Gaudette Polytechnique
Polytechnique with Maxim Gaudette.

‘Polytechnique’: Toronto Film Critics’ Best Canadian Film

Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique, a chronicle of the 1989 Montreal massacre of several female engineering students, was the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award winner.

The award, carrying a $10,000 cash prize, was presented to Villeneuve by David Cronenberg at the TFCA’s gala dinner, held Jan. 12 at the Nota Bene restaurant. The other two nominees for the award were Benoit Pilon’s The Necessities of Life and Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool. Polytechnique stars Karine Vanasse, Maxim Gaudette (above), and Sébastien Huberdeau.

“Most people would think, like the Holocaust; it’s unapproachable, it’s unmakeable, it’s unadvisable,” said TFCA president Brian D. Johnson. “But he [Villeneuve] pulled it off and it’s a beautiful film that is more a memorial than an act of imagination. It doesn’t fall into the pitfalls of a typical psycho-killer movie … you never find out what the guy’s motivation is.”

Villeneuve, for his part, remarked, “I made the film for people in Canada as a memory. We didn’t know exactly what would happen when we released it … we thought people would throw rocks at us. We made this movie from our hearts and I’m pretty amazed by the reaction.”

Other Toronto winners, announced a few weeks ago, were best pictures (it was a tie) Inglourious Basterds and Hunger, best actor Nicolas Cage for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Best Actress Carey Mulligan for An Education, and best foreign language film The White Ribbon.


Photo: Alliance Films

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