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European Film Award Nominations. Good news for 8 Oscar contenders

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.



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.


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


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.


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)


  • “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. 


Psiconautus, the Forgotten Children is the title we weren't familiar with so there's the trailer. 


  • “A Man Called Ove,” (Hannes Holm, Sweden, Norway)
  • “Look Who’s Back;” (David Wnendt, Germany)
  • “La Vache,” (Mohamed Hamidi, France)


  • “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)



  • “The Wall”
  • “Edmond”
  • “The Goodbye”
  • “90 Degrees North”
  • “We All Love The Sea Shore”
  • “In The Distance”
  • “A Man Returned”
  • “Small Talk”
  • “I’m Not From Here”
  • “Home”
  • “The Fullness Of Time (Romance)”
  • “Limbo”
  • “Amalimbo”
  • “9 Days – From My Window In Aleppo”

Will we see any of these on Oscar's finalist list for live action nominations?

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Reader Comments (8)

Those picture and actress slates are fabulous.

I haven't seen The Commune but Dyrholm is one of the greatest actors alive. Ditto, Tedeschi. The Julieta ladies were predictably excellent, whereas Huppert and especially Huller are operating on a barely conceivable level of genius. Either of those two performances would be my favourite of 2012, 13, 14 or 15.

November 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I still haven't seen Toni Erdmann, but I'm so glad it exists. Otherwise, we would be rewarding the same people over and over again.

November 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Isabelle Huppert is so in there for Oscar. SAG and GG may be unlikely, but AAN is in.

November 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Huppert for the win!
But do they only nominate European actresses in here even though there are Americans who are in eligible movies? They could have Meryl Streep and Brie Larson in the line up.

November 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I am increasingly optimistic that Isabelle Huppert will FINALLY get an Oscar nomination. I also think Sonia Braga has a chance for Aquarius.

Neither one will win though. Now that Viola Davis is going supporting - its a three way race between Emma Stone, Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman.

November 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Craver, they very delierately label their categories so that that cannot happen. Best European Actress, for example. It's why the film and why Emma Donaghue can be nominated, but not Brie.

I ever so slightly prefer Huppert's performance in THINGS TO COME to ELLE (likewise the film). On one hand, I hope critics orgs cite them both, but then I hope that wouldn't effect her chances at getting one of the more (initially) improbably Oscar acting nominations.

November 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Go Toni Erdmann!

Go Sandra Huller!

November 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Just one big snub here: Hayley Squires for I, Daniel Blake. Looks like these will be the most important prizes this season. If the Oscars were really about quality, there would be no possible way to not nominate Toni Erdmann and I, Daniel Blake for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.

November 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRalph

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