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European Film Nominations: "The Square" and "On Body and Soul" lead

by Nathaniel R

Hungary's weird and wonderful ON BODY AND SOUL keeps collecting kudosOne of our favorite undersung awards bodies is back. The European Film Awards, a hodgepodge of vastly different cinemas that sometimes has surprising results, have released their nominations for 2017. As per usual they're the awards body with the most in common with Oscar's Foreign Language Film race with many of their nominees being submissions this year from their respective countries. As such it's worth noting that Hungary's dreamscape slaughterhouse romantic oddity On Body and Soul and the Palme D'or winning Swedish satire The Square are both looking strong heading into the Oscar race; they lead the field here, each with four nominations. Russia's Loveless and the latest Yorgos Lanthimos provocation The Killing of a Sacred Deer are just behind them with three nominations, though the latter was a miss in the top category for Best European Film where France's masterful ACT UP drama BPM (Beats Per Minute --  currently in release in the US -- why is noone seeing it? It's brilliant! --  struck instead. 

The ceremony moves each year and this time it will be hosted in Berlin, Germany on December 9th. Full set of nominees (links go to our reviews) including a France heavy Best Actress list are after the jump...


BPM won the Grand Prix at Cannes earlier this year, losing the Palme d'Or to THE SQUARE



All but The Other Side of Hope are looking like formidable contenders for Oscar nominations; Finland chose Tom of Finland to represent them, a rather surprising choice given that Hope's auteur Aki Kaurismäki is responsible for the country's only Oscar nomination to date for The Man Without a Past (2002). I'd expect The Square to repeat its Cannes win here but you never know with the EFAs which aren't totally predictable.




As ever name recognition in Director categories, here and elsewhere, counts for a lot. These are all famous filmmakers with awards history. That might explain the absence of Robin Campillo for Best Film nominee BPM because he's not quite famous and its only his third directorial effort. 






We've always said that France is the most reliable country in the world for producing great actresses! They've got 60% of the list here. We'll be curious to see if Florence Pugh wins any Best Actress gongs this year for Lady Macbeth or if more famous actresses in her competitive fields will take the prizes. She's also up for the BIFAs and we assume she'll be up for the BAFTAs, too, unless they skew Oscar prediction / screw our countrymen- crazy, which they are sometimes prone to do. 


Claes Bang in THE SQUARE


  • Nahuel Perez Biscayart for BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  • Jean-Louis Trintignant for Happy End
  • Josef Hader for Farewell to Europe
  • Colin Farrell for Killing of a Sacred Deer 
  • Claes Bang for The Square


Nice to see Argentina-born Biscayart, who is terrific in BPM, in the mix. Tringtignant previously won this prize for Amour (2012). For what it's worth this is Colin Farrell's third EFA nomination. He has yet to be Oscar nominated. Maybe one day... 



  • François Ozon for Frantz
  • Oleg Negin & Andrey Zvyagintsev for Loveless
  • Ildiko Enyedi for On Body and Soul
  • Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou for Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Ruben Ostlund for The Square


This is basically a EUROPEAN FILM AWARD "ALL STARS" party. This category holds three previous winners: François Ozon is on his 7th nomination (in multiple categories) at the EFAs. He previously won this category for In the House.  This is Lanthimos 5th nomination. He and Filippous won this prize previously for The Lobster.  Ostlund hasn't won yet but this is his 7th nomination at the EFAs too. Andrey Zvyagintsev won the Discovery prize early in his career for The Return (2003). This is his 8th overall nomination.



  • King of the Belgians - Belgium
  • The Square - Sweden
  • Vincent at the End of the World - Belgium
  • Welcome to Germany - Germany


Pet Peeve alert. BFCA does this too and I hate it. You should not have a "comedy" category unless you admit in print, as The Golden Globes do, that your main film category is "best drama"... But when you call your top category "best film" or "best picture" and then you also have a "best comedy" category, you're not being honest and you're showing your anti-comedy hand!




  • Bloody Milk - France
  • Godless - France
  • Lady Macbeth - UK
  • Summer 1993 - Spain
  • The Eremites - Germany


We have yet to hear anything about three of these entries. We'll keep our eyes peeled as Discovery awards are important and herald new voices. Summer 1993 is Spain's Oscar submission and you know about Lady Macbeth already. 



  • Austerlitz - Germany
  • Communion - Poland
  • La Chana - Spain
  • Stranger in Paradise - The Netherlands
  • The Good Postman - Bulgaria




  • Ethel & Ernest - UK / Luxembourg
  • Louise by the Shore - France / Canada
  • Loving Vincent -  Poland / UK
  • Zombillenium - France / Belgium


We'll be curious to see how many of these prove eligible for this year's Oscar in Animated Feature. It's always difficult to know which foreign features will show up on that particular list though Loving Vincent, currently in theaters in the US, obviously will. 



  • Copa-Loca - Greece
  • En La Boca - Switzerland / Argentina
  • Fight on a Swedish Beach - Sweden
  • Information Skies - The Netherlands
  • Love - Hungary / France
  • The Artificial Humors - Portugal
  • The Circle - Turkey
  • The Disinherited - Spain
  • The Party - Ireland
  • Timecode - Spain
  • Ugly - Germany
  • Wannabe -Austria / Germany
  • Written / Unwritten - Romania
  • You Will Be Fine - France
  • Young Men At Their Window - France


Though we don't yet know about any of these other than Timecode (an Oscar nominee last year since the US is on a different timetable with some releases) watch for some of them to show up in the Best Live Action Short Film longlist with AMPAS whenever they get around to releasing that. That Oscar category tends to skew very international in its final nominations. 

Voting is closed for this year's People's Choice Winner (on a slightly different timetable) but the nominees are here. The only Best Film nominee on that list is The Other Side of Hope, which was released in Finland very early this year. 


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Reader Comments (18)

I voted for Frantz and I'm rooting for Paula Beer for Best Actress.

Summer 1993 is a thing of beauty. Broke my heart.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

peggy sue -- i wish i had a way to see that one! i keep hearing love for it but as far as i know it skipped the major fests (or was under the radar at them)

November 4, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No reason A24 shouldn't push Farrell to his first nod for Sacred Deer. Oldman feels like the most secure contender while everyone else is playing musical chairs.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Anxiously awaiting BPM in DC!

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Even as a member of the small party of HAPPY END defenders, I'm a little confused by the Huppert nomination (people shouldn't expect much of her here as it just isn't her story). Trintignant however is so deserving here.

I may need to revisit LADY MACBETH. I thought it was great as well as Pugh, but I was so clouded by the film's unpleasantness.

November 4, 2017 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

The Other Side of Hope - Finland and BPM- France



November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I can't understand why a film like TKOASD isn't being discussed for any sort of awards,is it only beause of the subject or is it something else entirely.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Try not to read too much about it. People are telling way too many things.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The Huppert mention is kinda...weird considering she's *very* much supporting and (though she's good as always) it certainly isn't top tier from her. And they didn't really like the film either since she and Trintignant are its only nominations.

I'm guessing had Kidman been eligible she might have taken that spot since Sacred Deer did well here and she and Keoghan received MVP mentions much more than Farrell did. Then again, Huppert is queen of Euro-centric awards so she might have made it in regardless lol.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBertiana

"BPM" is virtually nowhere - just NY/LA right now? I don't really understand what's going on.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Was In The Fade and The Divine Order eligible?

I was disappointed that Finland chose Tom of Finland, which is just an ok movie.
Great nominations overall.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRod

Bright Sunshine In is a masterpiece and I still can't believe Juliette Binoche is capable of new heights. Hey, maybe it's her best performance ever?

There's a long scene in which she acts opposite a brilliant Gerard Depardieu that made my heart stop, laughing and crying. Depardieu once said he didn't like Binoche's acting and now he just have to take that back.

It's the most riveting moment between two actors since that Fassbender scene in Hunger.

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Bright Sunshine In is the best film of the year, period. It's beautiful, touching, sad, sexy, funny, with a PERFECT performance in the center and incredible supporting actors. I felt so much JOY in seeing such a human movie. You go, Claire Denis!!!

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

@Rod No, neither In The Fade nor The Divine Order were eligible. Here's the full list here:

November 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShane

I'm on the opposite end of the scale to Nathaniel re. BPM.
The occasionally fervent love for it just completely and utterly baffles me. I don't remotely dislike the film - I justs felt like I'd seen it 87 times already and it's all very capably but unexcitingly put together with decent but unspectacular insights into this time and these people. I don't think it's Campillo's lack of name recognition that explains his omission from he Directors list (I mean, it's not like Maren Ade was some sort of household name either and she just won). I think the fact that his film is built on efficient, workmanlike, slightly hazy direction compared to the likes of Sacred Deer - I film I don't remotely love, but the crafting of which is undeniably impactful.

Also, even though both Binoche and Huppert are in my personal holy trinity, these nominations just scream autopilot. Nothing about those specific performances was worthy of award mentions. Though I do think they're both nevertheless very good, especially Binoche.

But on the plus side, yaaaay for Body and Soul and Loveless. I love the passion those two films are generating. I hope one of them somehow wins. Especially since they're infinitely more deserving than the rest of the nominee pool.

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Comeon, @goran, Binoche is spectacular in it. It's like Paulina Garcia dancing with herself in Gloria for 90 minutes. Sad and funny, upbeat and downbeat, and everything in between.

It's the perfect woman to lie to herself, an expression I've learned here, just like Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives, but not that cold - she's endearing as Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give.

I am leaning toward Hollywood references because while it's in fact a very specific and character-oriented performance, it is still a star turn, that only a megastar like Binoche can give.

That's what elevates this particular performance to a level that not even incredible performances like Garcia's could not reach.

And it's even more surprising that the movie is a comedy! I am used to love Binoche in rockhard dramatic performances like her gut-wrenching turn as Camille Claudel, or Blue, or Lovers on The Bridge, but here she takes the apparent light-hearted work in The Flight of the Red Balloon and even Certified Copy and takes them to new heights. She-s never been this earthy.

I feel I am like jumping the gun here, but, boy, did I LOVE this performance and movie.

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal, you've definitely convinced me to watch the movie again

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGoran

I'm sorry - I just can't see On Body and Soul. I don't care how beautiful the abbatoir scenes are - there is just no way I will see it.

November 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

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