Sunday, December 5, 2010

"The Ghost Writer" Haunts Europe. Can it Win American Oscar Nods?

The European Film Awards were held yesterday in Estonia's capital Tallin (next year the ceremony will be in Malta). Roman Polanski and Ewan McGregor both appeared via the wonders of the internet (you may have heard Polanski doesn't travel much) to accept for The Ghost Writer. The mystery thriller about a politician under fire and the two sorry writers who attempt to ghost his memoirs is filled with twists. It opened way back in March 2010 but it's apparently not done surprising us. Against the odds, it's been resurfacing in the awards conversation... and not just here. It took home a record-breaking 6 prizes, only losing "people's choice".

The previous EFA record holders, according to Screen Daily, were Spain's Talk to Her (2002) and Germany's Goodbye Lenin (2003) both of which, we foreign film Oscar obsessed must note, notoriously missed out on Oscar's Foreign Film category in their years (albeit for different reasons).

The European Film Awards aren't an Oscar precursor in the traditional way of thinking about these things but could we see The Ghost Writer with a stray Oscar nod or three come January's end? And if so, which? (Adapted Screenplay? Score? Art Direction? *gulp* Pic or Director?) Discuss.

The Euro Winners
  • Picture The Ghost Writer
  • People's Choice Jaco van Dormael's Mr Nobody 
  • Co-Production Award  Zeynep Özbatur Atakan
  • Achievement in World Cinema Gabriel Yared (Juliette Binoche was the surprise presenter of this award to The English Patient composer)
  • Lifetime Achievement Bruno Ganz
  • Discovery Lebanon
  • Director Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer
  • Actor Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer
  • Actress Sylvie Testud, Lourdes
  • Animated Feature Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist
  • Documentary Feature Patricio Guzmán's Nostalgia for the Light
  • Screenwriter & Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer
  • Cinematography Giora Bejach, Lebanon
  • Editor Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier, Carlos
  • Composer Alexandre Desplat, The Ghost Writer
  • Production Designer Albrecht Konrad, The Ghost Writer
I'm sure there will be many claims that this a "political" message given Polanski's legal troubles with the US which have been in the news again a lot this year. And though politics can truly never be extricated from any awards show (even preferring decidedly apolitical movies is in its own way, a political stance) at least some of The Ghost Writer's past and future honors out to be attributed to the fact that it's a fine movie.

Who can The Ghost trust? No one.

I shall update this post if I can find good photos since the evening held appearances from France's Binoche (love) and Denmark's Nikolaj Lie Kaas (also love) among other international film notables.

Related Articles EFA Nominations & "Best in Show: Olivia Williams"

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