European Film Nominations: "The Square" and "On Body and Soul" lead
Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 11:49AM
NATHANIEL R in Aki Kaurismaki, Andrey Zvyagintsev, BPM, EFA, François Ozon, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, On Body and Soul, Oscars (17), The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Square, Yorgos Lanthimos, foreign films

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



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... 




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.




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!





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. 







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. 




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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