Pics go head-to-head for top four awards

MADRID — The 17th edition of the Spanish Academy Goya awards — Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars — looks like a fearsome face-off between Fernando Leon’s unemployment drama “Mondays in the Sun” and Pedro Almodovar’s romantic-meller “Talk to Her.”

Both are nominated for best pic, director, original screenplay and actor. “Talk” scooped five European Film Academy (EFA) awards last Saturday, including film, director, screenwriter and actor (Javier Camara).

But San Sebastian best film winner “Mondays” pipped “Talk” to become Spain’s candidate for next year’s foreign-lingo Oscar, despite the fact that many non-Spanish observers saw “Talk” as a frontrunner to take the Oscar plaudit. Spanish Academy members picked Spain’s Oscar contender.

Best pics noms are rounded out by Emilio Martinez-Lazaro’s contempo musical “The Other Side of the Bed,” which has taken €12 million ($12.0 million) in Spain, making it the highest-grossing local pic of the year. And a pleasant surprise: Antonio Hernandez’s father-son drama “The City of No Limits,” which gained critical praise in Spain but only a respectable B.O.

Beyond film and director, the best actor category looks like the toughest showdown with, as in the EFA awards, Javier Bardem (“Mondays”) pitted against Camara for “Talk,” as well as Juan Luis Galiardo for Manuel Gutierrez Aragon’s “The Knight Don Quixote” and Sancho Gracia, who produced a career-best perf in Alex de la Iglesia’s “800 Bullets.”

In all “Mondays” has eight noms; “Talk” and Jose Luis Garci’s “Story of a Kiss” both sport seven.

The 18th Goya awards ceremony of the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences takes place Feb. 1 in Madrid. Vet actor Manuel Alexandre will be presented with an honorary Goya for lifetime achievement.

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