European Film Academy Awards, 2007 – Still Looking Backwards

Would the 2007 European Movie Academy Awards ceremony maintain any surprises in any respect? That was the query on my thoughts as I watched the present in December. It was a chilly night time in Istanbul, and I had been studying, speaking and writing all day, so I watched the present on ARTE in a dazed state. However regardless of, the ceremony was completely digestible, even for somebody solely giving it half his consideration. The discuss was predictable, the Leningrad Cowboys (the Finnish rock band) jolted me awake each as soon as in awhile with their ersatz music, foolish antics and cartoonish hairdos, and the proceedings unfolded like all of the movie festivals that got here earlier than it. And that was the essential downside: exactly how was this any completely different from the movie festivals that got here earlier than it? Exhausting to say, so let’s simply check out what bought nominated and what bought gained.

It will be troublesome to drag off any surprises, contemplating the nominees that had been picked from the wide-ranging pre-selection. Quite a lot of the productions that made it to the nomination spherical had been acquainted names, actually, virtually all of them, in order that one wonders how most of the 1,800 EFA voters simply checked off the names that they knew and did not even trouble to take a look at all of the DVDs they acquired within the mail for his or her viewing. There have been the standard suspects from all of the festivals, particularly the movies that had been standard in Germany and elsewhere within the North, might it’s that the German voters had been much more diligent in sending of their votes this 12 months than folks in different nations? The Germanic talking nations, together with Scandinavia, make up greater than a 3rd of EFA membership, and this 12 months their regional aesthetic appeared to actually take the higher hand.

A working example: Marianne Devoted’s nomination for Irina Palme, (good identify for a movie a few girl who’s compelled to maker her dwelling giving hand jobs). Marianne Devoted makes a good impression together with her performing, however it’s so low-key and understated, that it’s a must to marvel if her nomination was merely an afterglow of the notoriety that the movie had acquired on the Berlin movie competition and/or a co-product of her cult following. Nonetheless, it was no stranger than a few of the different nominations on this space: Anamaria Marinca for four Months, three Weeks (Okay, I can see that); however Carice van Houten for Black E-book? What had been they pondering? I do know that she is well-known in Germany and different northern nations for her movie and TV work, however her efficiency on this movie was flippant and annoyingly coy. Because it turned out, one other stiff-upper-lip efficiency, that of Helen Mirren in The Queen took the prize, forward of Marion Cotillard in La Môme (La Vie en Rose) and Ksenia Rappoport in The Unknown, (La Sconosciuta), each wonderful performances of a extra flamboyant variety. There actually appeared to be a Northern European aesthetic at play right here, an admiration for the understated, a shrinking from the overly dramatic.

I assume deadpan performances had been the important thing this 12 months, in any other case, what might clarify Sasson Gabai as European Finest Actor along with his practically catatonic efficiency in The Band’s Go to? I appreciated the movie, however I used to be not overwhelmed by this efficiency, it simply type of glided by unnoticed. I a lot most well-liked Elio Germano in My Brother is an Solely Little one. And Ben Whishaw in armor all grill cover: the Story of a Assassin (Das Parfum). However Michel Piccoli in Belle Toujours? After all, I perceive: this was a type of again door life-time achievement issues, however that movie was such a catastrophe that it’s a joke even to say it within the context of an awards ceremony. Sure, Manoel de Oliveira turned 100 years previous this 12 months, so I’m being actually bitchy saying something unhealthy about his movie. He actually deserved the Honorary Award that he acquired throughout the ceremonies, and everybody mercifully uncared for to say this sleeping capsule of a movie, so case closed.

The one class that appeared to make good sense was European Cinematographer, La Sconosciuta (The Unknown) and The Final King of Scotland had been each fantastically filmed, Izgnanie (The Banishment), a monumentally plodding homage to Tarkovsky, was saved from being a complete catastrophe by the attractive filmwork, and the winner, Das Parfum (Fragrance) could possibly be pleased with its effectively deserved statuette.

Das Parfum additionally took one other award, the Prix d’Excellence, which it acquired for Manufacturing Design. The opposite nominees included make-up for La Môme (La Vie en Rose), presumably for the formidable job of creating anybody look remotely like Edith Piaf, and costumes for Alatriste, as a result of when a movie prices as a lot as that one did, it’s best to actually discover one thing good to say about it, and for sound for Vier Minuten (4 Minutes) as a result of…. uh, why? as a result of we’re all the time impressed by classical music, regardless of how unhealthy it sounds?

The largest puzzle of all, to my thoughts, was the Display writing Award going to Fatih Akin for Auf der Anderen Seite (the Fringe of Heaven). So, in different phrases, some voters truly found out what that story was about? Or was he simply getting a bone-toss from his German colleagues? After all, the opposite movies within the class had been simply the identical previous darlings that had been successful awards all over the place else. Did nobody trouble to see movies like Ladrones (Thieves), I Served the King of England, My Brother is an Solely Little one?

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