The 2019 European Film Awards unfolded today in Berlin across an unhinged and hilarious ceremony. “The Favourite,” a 2018 awards-season triumph in the U.S., took home top prizes including for European film, director Yorgos Lanthimos and Academy Award-winning star Olivia Colman. While released stateside in fall 2018, the revisionist period romp’s international release window made it eligible for the European Film Awards this year.
Antonio Banderas’ Oscar-bidding turn in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” earned the Spanish star the European Actor prize. Neither Banderas nor Colman were available to attend the ceremony, but both chimed in with video messages thanking European voters for their wins. “Pain and Glory” is Spain’s pick for the 2020 foreign Oscar.
Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” which lost out as France’s pick for the 2020 foreign Oscar to European Film Award winner “Les Miserables,” won the screenplay prize. Sciamma also won a screenplay award for her lesbian romance at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is now in limited theaters from Neon, followed by a larger rollout on Valentine’s Day next year.
Filmmakers from Claire Denis to Jafar Panahi delivered heartfelt tributes to World Cinema achievement prize winner Juliette Binoche. “Is it okay to be winning awards when the world is going down?” the legendary actress said. “We have to be more truthful, more loving…opening our heart and ears.” She dedicated the prize to her team, from “all of the nannies who are taking care of my children” to her assistant.
European Film Academy president Wim Wenders sang a rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” to serenade lifetime achievement prize winner Werner Herzog. In his speech, the documentary filmmaker called for breaking down borders in terms of what constitutes a “European film.”
Roman Polanski’s “An Officer and a Spy,” despite earning four nominations, is going home empty-handed. The Academy’s Deputy Chairman Mike Downey said, “The European Film Academy deplores violence in all its forms” with regards to Polanski’s controversial inclusion among the nominees, adding that the board is seeking to “revise its disciplinary measures.” The Dreyfus affair drama sparked ire at the 2019 Venice Film Festival — a ceremony where “Joker” took home the top prize — where it won four prizes including the Silver Lion, the equivalent of the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the critics’ FIPRESCI prize. The Venice jury clearly wanted to make a statement on separating the art from its artist. (For the record, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich was not hot on the film in his review.)
See the full of film winners below (with nominations here). Last year’s big winner was “Cold War,” which earned multiple Academy Award nominations including for Best Director, Paweł Pawlikowski. He took home for the People’s Choice Award from the European Film Academy for that film.
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
EUROPEAN SHORT FILM
“The Christmas Gift,” dir: Bogdan Mureșanu
EUROPEAN ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“Bunuel In The Labyrinth Of The Turtles,” dir: Salvador Simó
Céline Sciamma, “Portrait Of A Lady On Fire”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD