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Entries in EFA (11)


EFA's Long List and Cannes/Oscar Crossover History

We already shared the EFA's People Choice nominees but it's important to remember that that's a special award, quite apart from their actual nominations. In their slightly tortured roll-out we get part two, the long list. These are the titles that form the "selection list"... they have to do it this way before nominations from a sheer numbers perspective. Add up the annual releases from dozens and dozens of countries and you have hundreds of films, you know? Here are the 52 films their nominators will be considering. We've divvied it up by country for you and if they're already a part of the Oscar race or on TIFF's schedule, we'll say so. The titles will be a mix of familiar to you and "what is that?" to anyone reading because who can keep up with every country's cinema?

Because there are so many films, though, it's all after the jump...

Click to read more ...


European Film Awards - Vote for the 'People's Choice'

Have you ever been to Berlin? The annual European Film Awards will be held there this year just 102 days. As part of their annual tradition if you vote on their People's Choice Awards you can be entered to win a trip to the show.

This year's People's Choice slate (the only category thus far announced) feels slightly more "behind" than usual or perhaps we misremember past years? Generally the EFA titles are a mix of current and previous Oscar seasons (due to scattered release dates) but this year's batch feels especially 2014 heavy. On the down side this means it's less helpful in seeing which films are making inroads to general critics prizes and Oscar love down the road... in that they already have or haven't. On the plus side, potential voters will have seen more of them. YOU CAN VOTE RIGHT HERE... They also have an official facebook page up now.

The 10 Nominees...  

  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence d. Roy Andersson
    Just announced as Sweden's Oscar submission! This auteur's unique 'vignettes in absurdist tableaus' sensibility must be experienced to be believed. Reviewed / Best of 2015 (Thus Far)
  • Force Majeure d. Ruben Östlund
    Sweden's acclaimed awards magnet was a big Oscar snub in the Foreign Film category last season... though it was up for Best Film at the EFAs. Is the American remake still planning to go ahead despite being a terrible idea? Reviewed / Blurbed / Top 20 of 2014 
  • The Imitation Game d. Morten Tyldum
    Last year's Best Picture contender qualifies as European because...? Perhaps it's the Norwegian director. But it's a US/UK production so it feels strange to see it here. Past Articles.  
  • Leviathan d. Andrey Zvyaginstev
    Russia's Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning hit last season. Past Articles.
  • Marshland d. Alberto Rodríguez
    A serial killer drama from Spain.

  • Samba d. Oliver Nakache & Eric Toledano
    Omar Sy (The Intouchables) and Charlotte Gainsbourg headline this French film about a struggling Senegalese immigrant and a woman trying to get her life back together
  • Serial (Bad) Weddings d. Philippe de Chauveron
    A French comedy about a Catholic couple whose four daughters all get married to men of different origins and religions
  • The Salt of the Earth d. Wim Wenders & Juliano Riberio Salgada
    Best Documentary Nominee at the Oscars. On the international journeys of Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado. Discussed
  • Victoria d. Sebastian Schipper
    Winner of 6 Lola Awards. Germany couldn't really select this hard-partying drama about a girl who gets mixed up in a bank robbery for their Oscar submission -- too much English in it -- but it's won raves and a lot of attention for its one take trick. That's right, a 140 minute movie all in one continuous shot without Birdman's tricks. Laia Costa and Frederick Lau star and took the German Oscars (the Lolas) for Best Actress and Best Actor.
  • White God d. Kornél Mundruczó
    Hungary's Oscar submission last season (not nominated), an allegorical film featuring rampaging packs of wild dogs, has been riveting moviegoers since its 2014 Cannes debut. Now on DVD. Reviewed / Interview

I'll have to choose between the two Swedish films for my personal vote. Who gets yours?



European Film Award Wi -- what? Scorsesaywhat? 

I watched a bit of the European Film Awards live streaming earlier today and the first sight that greeted me was Anke Engelke looking like she'd stepped out of the Capitol to announce the next Hunger Games. The only thing she got wrong was that her hair and makeup were too demure. Tim said she looked a "teensy bit too lindt bunny" which made me giggle.

While attempting to watch the show I was pulled into an endless twitter debate about misogyny and glorification/condemnation thereof in The Wolf of Wall Street - a conversation which I expect will rage throughout awards season unless the veritable army of Scorsese stans succeeds in stamping out open discussion about the movie's merits; they're weirdly adamant that one should only do adrenaline fueled wolf howls at it which is, I don't mind saying, one of the worst things that can happen to a movie that merits any kind of considered conversation.

SOOOOOO, while I didn't make it all the way through the EFAs and am ashamed to note that I missed Catherine Deneuve's tribute altogether (argh) here are 5 thoughts from the ceremony...

Click to read more ...


Europa! Europa! EFAs Feeling Broken, Blue and Beautiful

The European Film Awards have announced their annual year-straddling list of nominees and featured heavily are several Oscar contenders from 2012 and 2013. Recognisable names like Keira Knightley, Naomi Watts (not for Diana, thankfully) and Jude Law rub shoulders with Felix van Groeningen, Fabrice Luchini and Luminita Gheorghium, which is just how we like it! 

However, like many award shows at this time of the year the biggest eyebrows isn't so much in what they nominated, but what they didn't. The cries of "snub!" will surely come thick and fast for Adele Exarchopolous and Lea Seydoux who failed to make the actress nominees for their soaring performances in Blue is the Warmest Color. Lucky then that the film picked up major nominations in picture and director for controversial Abdellatif Kechiche. Movies amassing big nomination hauls include Belgian Oscar hopeful The Broken Circle Breakdown, Italian Oscar hopeful The Great Beauty, and Germany's hit Oh, Boy! while films representing Romania, and Spain (albeit last year) also popped up prominently as did Francois Ozon's In the House.

High profile films amongst films that the EFA didn't find room for include Oscar-nominee Kon-tiki, Only God Forgives, A Hijacking, The Selfish Giant, Berberian Sound Studio (sadly - the best horror film of the last few years!), Borgman, and What Richard Did. Here's the list of nominees + the additional technical winners that have already been announced.

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Is there hope for an interesting Best Animated Feature race?

Tim here. Right at the end of last week, the Academy very quietly issued a rules change pertaining to the Best Animated Feature Oscar: instead of requiring that members of the nominating committee had seen at least 80% of the films on the eligibility list (an onerous task indeed, given that these are people who care about animation for a living, and that list can sometimes be, like, 20 films long), now the voters can pick any animated films they darn well want to, which is potentially going to do away with all those fun little nominees like A Cat in Paris and The Secret of Kells, things that badly need the exposure. Perhaps not. But if we’re about to enter a world where Planes can snag a nomination over Ernest & Celestine (please oh please Oscar gods, don’t let that happen), something is even more broken with a dodgy category than we’ve thought.

Now comes the news that the European Film Academy has announced its own list of nominees:  the modeling clay stop-motion of Jasmine by Alain Ughetto and a new version of Pinocchio by Italian director Enzo d’Aló. And The Congress featuring Robin Wright which played at Cannes and is the new film by Ari Folman, director of Waltz with Bashir (which famously attempted three specialty nominations for Documentary, Animated Feature and Foreign Film but was disqualified from the first, failed the second and became the first animated film ever nominated for Best Foreign Film.)

Jasmine is a "claymation story of love and revolution"

We have no way of knowing if any of these will be squeaked into the United States in time for Oscar qualification – the vagaries about what counts as “qualifying run” for this category is especially dubious – but given how everyone in the world agrees that we’re looking at the weakest year for animated features since the category was born, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if some canny distributor decided to use this nomination as the spur for a Hail Mary pass.

Is there a possibility of repeating 2011, when two functionally un-released foreign films made the nomination list? It’s hard to say, especially with the rules change in the nominating process, but faced with tiny niche releases that nobody has heard of getting national attention, and the possibility of the phrase “Oscar nominee Turbo” ever being said by anybody, I know which one I’m hoping for.

updated animation & documentary chart


In Case You Missed the European Film Awards...

...which you probably did. 

Jose here, happy to report that Michael Haneke's extraordinary Amour was the big winner at the European Film Awards held in Malta, winning the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Jean-Louis Tringtinant) and Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) leaving the film one award shy of having earned the "big five", something that's never happened in the EFA's twenty five year history.

Following the film in wins were Shame and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which swept the technical awards with two each. Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt won the award for Best Screenplay and Helen Mirren received the award for Achievement in World Cinema.

One thing I've always loved about the European Film Awards is how "odd" they are. People in America, used to the glitzy PC-ness of the Oscars and the Golden Globes, would be shocked to see how "real" and even careless their European counterparts are. This after all is the same awards show where I first saw Tahar Rahim's penis and enjoyed reactions of David Kross as he was caught playing with his iPhone.

I screencapped my favorite moments of this year's ceremony for all of you: 

Click to read more ...


EFA Noms Honor Plenty of Foreign Film Oscar Contenders

The European Film Awards will be held in Malta this year on December 1st, and as per usual they are honoring plenty of possible nominees in Oscar's Foreign Language Film category as well as films that are a little too outre for Oscar (last year Melancholia, completely ignored by Oscar, did well and this year that honor goes to Steve McQueen's Shame)



  • Amour (Austria's Oscar Submission)
  • Barbara (Germany's Oscar Submission)
  • Caesar Must Die (Italy's Oscar Submission)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
  • The Intouchables (France's Oscar Submission)
  • Shame (UK)

Amour appears to be the likely frontrunner here as it leads in nominations but the EFAs are far less predictable than Oscar so anything might happen. Acting nominations, a very handsome director, and more after the jump.

Click to read more ...