The Precursors are coming! The Precursors are coming! Though the European Film Awards hardly have Oscar on their minds when they vote (bless them) it's all part of the grand circus of November-February honors to commemorate each film year. Several European films hoping to score Oscar nods in the Foreign Language Film race have reason to be hopeful given their warm embrace here.
The following eight titles that the Academy is currently considering for that particular honor scored EFA nominations: Spain's Julieta, Germany's Toni Erdmann, France's Elle, Italy's Fire at Sea, Finland's The Happiest Days in the Life of Olli Makki, Sweden's A Man Called Ove, Israel's Sand Storm, and Switzerland's animated film My Life as a Courgette.
Other familiar titles on the list include the British Palme D'Or winner I Daniel Blake, potential mainstream Oscar player Florence Foster Jenkins, and last year's awesome mother/son captivity drama Room (we're reminded again that it was an Irish production!).
If the title has a link below we've reviewed it.
BEST EUROPEAN FILM
- “Elle,” (Paul Verhoeven, France, Germany)
- “I, Daniel Blake,” (Ken Loach, U.K., France)
- “Julieta,” (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
- “Room,” (Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland, Canada)
- “Toni Erdmann,” (Maren Ade, Germany, Austria)
BEST EUROPEAN DIRECTOR
- Paul Verhoeven (“Elle,” France, Germany)
- Cristian Mungiu, (“Graduation,” Romania, France, Belgium)
- Ken Loach (“I, Daniel Blake,” U.K., France)
- Pedro Almodóvar (“Julieta,” Spain)
- Maren Ade, (“Toni Erdmann,” Germany, Austria)
Pedro Almodóvar has won three directing EFAs in the past for All About My Mother, Talk to Her and Volver and two additional nominations prior to Julieta in Bad Education and Broken Embraces. But i expect this prize is going to Maren Ade.
BEST EUROPEAN ACTOR
- Rolf Lassgård, (“A Man Called Ove”)
- Hugh Grant, (“Florence Foster Jenkins”)
- Dave Johns, (“I, Daniel Blake”)
- Burghart Klaußner, (“The People vs. Fritz Bauer”)
- Peter Simonischek, (“Toni Erdmann”)
- Javier Cámara, (“Truman”)
The least familiar title here is Truman a buddy dramedy with Argentinian superstar Ricardo Darín and Spain's Javier Cámara (nominated) who is an Almodóvar regular. It's nice to Hugh Grant here for his wonderful work in FFJ.
BEST EUROPEAN ACTRESS
- Isabelle Huppert, (“Elle”)
- Emma Suárez & Adriana Ugarte, (“Julieta”)
- Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, (“Like Crazy”)
- Trine Dyrholm, (“The Commune”)
- Sandra Hüller, (“Toni Erdmann”)
Fun that they let Suárez and Ugarte share the Best Actress nomination (they share the title character in Julieta at two different ages played concurrently as the film jumps back and forth between present and past) something you regularly see at the Tonys and which the cast of Moonlight surely wishes they could do this year with Oscar.
Thrilled to see Trine Dyrholm honored --she's just fiercely engaged with the emotionally thorny material in The Commune.
BEST EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER
- Cristian Mungiu, (“Graduation”)
- Paul Laverty, (“I, Daniel Blake”)
- Emma Donaghue, (“Room”)
- Maren Ade, (“Toni Erdmann”)
- Tomasz Wasilewski, (“United States of Love”)
Interesting that Graduation did well. Mungiu's latest lost the Oscar submission contest to represent Romania (they sent Sieranevada instead) but the EFA's love Mungiu. He's been nominated twice in the past for Screenplay (4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days and Beyond the Hills)
BEST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY
- “The Land Of The Enlightened,” (Pieter-Jan De Pue, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands)
- “21 X New York,” (Piotr Stasik,Poland)
- “Mr. Gaga,” (Tomer Heymann, Israel, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands)
- “S is for Stanley – 30 Years At The Wheel For Stanley Kubrick,” (Alex Infascelli, Italy)
- “A Family Affair,” (Tom Fassaert, the Netherlands, Belgium)
- “Fire At Sea,” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy, France)
Fire at Sea is eligible for nominations in both Best Documentary and Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. No film has ever managed both nominations though perhaps Waltz With Bashir (2008) came close. Read Jose's interview with Gianfraco Rosi.
BEST EUROPEAN ANIMATED FEATURE
- “My Life as a Zucchini,” (Claude Barras, France, Switzerland)
- “Psiconautas, the forgotten children,” (Pedro Rivero, Alberto Vázquez, Spain)
- “The Red Turtle” (Michael Dudok de Wit, Japan, France, Belgium)
Psiconautus, the Forgotten Children is the title we weren't familiar with so there's the trailer.
BEST EUROPEAN COMEDY
- “A Man Called Ove,” (Hannes Holm, Sweden, Norway)
- “Look Who’s Back;” (David Wnendt, Germany)
- “La Vache,” (Mohamed Hamidi, France)
FIPRESCI PRIZE – BEST EUROPEAN DISCOVERY
- “Dogs,” (Bogdan Mirica, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar)
- “Liebmann” (Jules Herrmann, Germany)
- “Sand Storm,” (Elite Zexer, Israel)
- “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki,” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland, Sweden, Germany)
- “Thirst” (Svetla Tsotsorkova, Bulgaria)
EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY FILM AWARD
- “Fire at Sea,” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy, France)
- “I, Daniel Blake”
- “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki”
- “Toni Erdmann”
BEST EUROPEAN SHORT
- “The Wall”
- “The Goodbye”
- “90 Degrees North”
- “We All Love The Sea Shore”
- “In The Distance”
- “A Man Returned”
- “Small Talk”
- “I’m Not From Here”
- “The Fullness Of Time (Romance)”
- “9 Days – From My Window In Aleppo”
Will we see any of these on Oscar's finalist list for live action nominations?