There were no big surprises when the nominations for this year's Goya Awards were announced at the Spanish Cinema Academy in Madrid on Tuesday. Pablo Berger's silent, black-and-white Snow White retelling Blancanieves led the running with 18 nominations, followed by Grupo 7 (Unit 7) with 16, The Impossible with 14 and El artista y la modelo(The Artist and the Model) with 13. All four are up for best film, while their directors have also all been nominated.
There were, however, a few curiosities in the lineup - not least the nomination of veteran actor José Sacristán in the best actor category. Star of countless Spanish movies over the years and one of the nine founding members of the Cinema Academy, the 75-year-old received his first ever Goya nod for his role in Javier Rebollo's El muerto y ser feliz (or, The dead man and being happy), which is released in Spain this Friday.
"Resentment really isn't good for the liver," says the actor, who considers himself "half from Chinchón [his Madrid birthplace] and half from Bariloche [in his adopted Argentina]. "I've done a lot more theater than film in recent years... Of course I want to win the award, but I won't die if I don't pick it up."
The main nominees
- Best film. Blancanieves, El artista y la modelo, Grupo 7 and The Impossible.
- Best direction. Pablo Berger (Blancanieves), Fernando Trueba (El artista y la modelo), Alberto Rodríguez (Grupo 7) and J. A. Bayona (The Impossible).
- Best actor. Daniel Giménez-Cacho (Blancanieves), Jean Rochefort (El artista y la modelo), José Sacristán (El muerto y ser feliz) and Antonio de la Torre (Grupo 7).
- Best actress. Maribel Verdú (Blancanieves), Aida Folch (El artista y la modelo), Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and Penélope Cruz (Venuto al mondo).
Despite being a man of the theater - he is currently touring his play Yo soy Don Quijote and is pained by the lack of interest shown in his work featuring texts by poet Antonio Machado in Spain - Sacristán has all of sudden also become a champion of groundbreaking Spanish cinema following his starring roles in David Trueba's Madrid, 1987 and El muerto y ser feliz . "I was attracted to Rebollo's script by the similarity of my role to the poor devil I played in Cara de acelga ," he notes. That, and the fact that the film, in which he plays a Spanish assassin-for-hire in Argentina who hits the road after learning he hasn't long left to live, allowed him to shoot in his beloved adopted country.
Sacristán will be a firm favorite for the Goya at the February 17 ceremony, where he is up against Daniel Giménez-Cacho for Blancanieves , Antonio de la Torre for Grupo 7 and Jean Rochefort for El artista y la modelo . The case of the latter puts paid to the myth that the Cinema Academy never nominates foreign actors performing in languages other than Spanish: Rochefort acts in his native French. Naomi Watts is also up for best actress for her role in the English-language The Impossible.
De la Torre, who read out the list of nominees alongside Elena Anaya, was also recognized in the best supporting actor category for Invasor , while screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez also garnered two nods: for his original screenplay for The Impossible and, in the adapted screenplay category, as co-writer of thriller Fin. There were also three double nominees in the technical categories.
Other curiosities included the fact that the entire León Barrios family got nods for their work on Carmina o revienta - Paco León for new director, María León for supporting actress and their mother Carmina Barrios for female newcomer. Enrique Gato became the first person to get a best direction nomination for an animated film with his Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones , while there were also ties in the voting in two categories, which means there will be five nominees for the editing and adapted screenplay awards.
Most excited, naturally, were the Blancanieves team, headed by producer Iber Cormenzana and director Pablo Berger: "We are very, very happy. We put ourselves forward for 18 possible statues and got 18 nominations. It has been a very, very long journey of eight years, and the effort has been recognized."
Their Goya success will hopefully go some way to making up for their disappointment in being passed over by Oscar this awards season. Spanish costume designer Paco Delgado did, however, receive a nomination for his work on Les Misérables and The Impossible 's Watts got another best actress nod when the Academy announced its list of nominees for this year on Thursday. Delgado was there again - alongside Javier Bardem as best supporting actor for Skyfall - when the UK's Bafta announced its nominations on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Watts is among the names up for best actress at this Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.