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Pro-Euthanasia Drama Is Spanish Academy Awards’ Record Breaker

Pro-euthanasia The Sea Inside Javier Bardem Belén RuedaThe Sea Inside with Javier Bardem and Belén Rueda. Based on real-life events, Alejandro Amenábar’s pro-euthanasia drama and the Goya Awards’ record-breaker was Spain’s Oscar entry.
  • Starring Best Actor Goya winner Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic man fighting for the right to die, Alejandro Amenábar’s pro-euthanasia drama The Sea Inside was the record-shattering winner at this year’s Spanish Academy Awards.

Alejandro Amenábar’s pro-euthanasia drama The Sea Inside is Goya Awards’ record-breaking winner

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Jan. 31 the winners of the 2005 Goya Awards. As expected, screenwriter-director Alejandro Amenábar’s pro-euthanasia drama The Sea Inside / Mar adentro, starring Javier Bardem as real-life tetraplegic Ramón Sampedro (1943–1998), fighting (Catholic) Church and Country for the right to put an end to his physical and psychological torment, was the Goyas’ top choice.

How much of a top choice?

The audience-friendly right-to-die tale (which ended its run with $26.1 million in the domestic market) won Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Amenábar and Mateo Gil), no less than six acting awards (Bardem, Lola Dueñas, Celso Bugallo, Mabel Rivera, Belén Rueda, Tamar Novas), plus five other trophies.

Total = 14 wins. A Goya Awards record.

The previous record-holder had been Carlos Saura’s Spanish Civil War-set comedy-drama ¡Ay Carmela!, which garnered 13 Francisco Goya bronze busts back in early 1991.

Pedro Almodóvar once again ‘snubbed’

At the other extreme from The Sea Inside – in terms of both cinematic aesthetics and Spanish Academy-love – Pedro Almodóvar’s audacious, gay-sex-filled mystery comedy-drama Bad Education / La Mala educación, a film noir homage in which a sexually abusive Catholic priest has a key role, was left totally Goyaless.

But perhaps that shouldn’t be seen as too much of a shocker.

When the nominees for the Goya Awards were announced in late 2004, the biggest surprise was the inclusion of Bad Education in a mere four categories – granted, among them Best Picture and Best Director.

To date, Almodóvar has won two Goya Awards: as Best Director for All About My Mother (1999) and, in the Best Original Screenplay category, for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988).

And in all fairness, Pedro Almodóvar was no luckier at the European Film Awards held last December in Barcelona. (Though Bad Education did manage to be selected as the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Foreign Language Film.)

The Sea Inside Lola Dueñas Javier BardemThe Sea Inside with Best Actress Goya winner Lola Dueñas and Javier Bardem. In the pro-euthanasia drama, Dueñas tries to convince the tetraplegic Bardem that life, no matter what, is worth living.

Goya Awards: Winners & nominees

Below is the full list of this year’s Goya winners, in addition to a partial list of nominees.

Note: Best Actor Goya winner Javier Bardem had previously topped that category at last year’s Venice Film Festival. (Coincidentally, Best Actress British Academy Award [BAFTA] winner Imelda Staunton was also a Venice winner for Mike Leigh’s pro-legal-abortion drama Vera Drake.)

Note II: The Goya Awards have two categories covering non-Spanish films: Best European Film and Best Spanish-Language Foreign Film. That means non-Spanish-language movies of non-European origin are out of luck as far as the Goyas are concerned.

Bad Education.
* The Sea Inside.
Tiovivo c. 1950.

European Film
Being Julia (U.K. | Hungary).
* Head-On / Gegen die Wand (Germany | Turkey).
Monsieur Ibrahim / Monsieur Ibrahim Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (France).
Girl with a Pearl Earring (U.K. | Luxembourg).

Spanish-Language Foreign Film
El rey (Colombia).
Avellaneda’s Moon / Luna de Avellaneda (Argentina).
Machuca (Chile).
* Whisky (Uruguay).

Adolfo Aristaraín, Roma.
* Alejandro Amenábar, The Sea Inside.
Carlos Saura, The 7th Day / El 7º día.
Pedro Almodóvar, Bad Education.

Ana Belén, Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena.
* Lola Dueñas, The Sea Inside.
Penélope Cruz, Don’t Move / Non ti muovere.
Pilar Bardem, María querida.

Eduard Fernández, Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena.
Eduardo Noriega, Wolf / El Lobo.
Guillermo Toledo, The Perfect Crime / Crimen ferpecto.
* Javier Bardem, The Sea Inside.

Supporting Actress
* Mabel Rivera, The Sea Inside.
Mercedes Sampietro, Unconscious / Inconscientes.
Silvia Abascal, Wolf.
Victoria Abril, The 7th Day.

Supporting Actor
* Celso Bugallo, The Sea Inside.
Juan Diego, The 7th Day.
Luis Varela, The Perfect Crime.
Unax Ugalde, Héctor.

Original Screenplay
* The Sea Inside, Alejandro Amenábar & Mateo Gil.
Hours of Light / Horas de luz, José Ángel Esteban, Carlos López & Manolo Matji.
Roma, Adolfo Aristarain, Mario Camus & Kathy Saavedra.
Unconscious, Joaquín Oristrell, Dominic Harari & Teresa Pelegri.

Adapted Screenplay
* The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta, José Rivera.
Don’t Move, Margaret Mazzantini, Sergio Castellitto.
El año del diluvio, Jaime Chávarri & Eduardo Mendoza.
Voices in the Night / Las voces de la noche, Salvador García Ruiz.

New Director
* Pablo Malo, Cold Winter Sun / Frío sol de invierno.
Ramón De España, Haz conmigo lo que quieras.
Santi Amodeo, Astronauts / Astronautas.
Vicente Peñarrocha, Body Confusion / Fuera del cuerpo.

New Actor
* Tamar Novas, The Sea Inside.
Jorge Roelas, Tiovivo c. 1950.
José Luis García Pérez, Bear Cub / Cachorro.
Nilo Zimmerman, Héctor.

New Actress
* Belén Rueda, The Sea Inside.
Mónica Cervera, The Perfect Crime.
Núria Gago, Héctor.
Teresa Hurtado de Ory, Astronauts.

* The Sea Inside, Javier Aguirresarobe.
Roma, José Luis Alcaine.
Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt / Romasanta, Javier Salmones.
Tiovivo c. 1950, Raúl Pérez Cubero.

Film Editing
* Wolf, Guillermo S. Maldonado.
Cold Winter Sun, Antonio Pérez Reina.
Hours of Light, José María Biurrún.
Swindled / Incautos, Iván Aledo.

Original Score
* The Sea Inside, Alejandro Amenábar.
Héctor, Ángel Illarramendi.
The Machinist, Roque Baños.
Unconscious, Sergio Moure

* Miracle of Candeal / El milagro de Candeal, dir.: Fernando Trueba.
De nens, dir.: Joaquim Jordà.
Salvador Allende, dir.: Patricio Guzmán.
¡Hay motivo!, dir.: Manuel Gómez Pereira, Isabel Coixet, Juan Diego Botto, and others.

Executive/Line Producer: Emiliano Otegui, The Sea Inside.

Animated Feature: Pinocchio 3000, dir.: Daniel Robichaud.

Art Direction: Gil Parrondo, Tiovivo c. 1950.

Costume Design: Yvonne Blake, The Bridge of San Luis Rey / El puente de San Luis Rey.

Original Song: “Zambie Mameto” by Carlinhos Brown & Mateus, Miracle of Candeal.

Sound: The Sea Inside.

Special Effects: Wolf.

Makeup & Hair: The Sea Inside.

Short Film: Diez minutos, dir.: Alberto Ruiz Rojo.

Animated Short: El enigma del Chico Croqueta, dir.: Pablo Llorens.

Documentary Short: Extras, dir.: Ana Serret.

Honorary Goya: José Luis López Vázquez.

“Pro-Euthanasia Drama” endnotes

Goya Awards website.

Lola Dueñas, Belén Rueda, and Javier Bardem The Sea Inside images: Fine Line Features.

“Pro-Euthanasia Drama Is Spanish Academy Awards’ Record Breaker” last updated in September 2021.

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