Michael Haneke’s autumnal drama “Amour” dominated nominations for this year’s European Film Awards – Europe’s equivalent of the Oscars – scoring in six categories.
A heartbreaking film chronicling the final chapter in the life of an octogenarian couple, “Amour’s” noms include best pic, director, actor (Jean Louis Trintignant), actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and screenplay.
Sony Pictures Classics acquired “Amour’s” North American rights before the pic won Cannes’ Palme d’Or in May.
“Amour” will contend for best pic with Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s comedy “The Intouchables,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt,” German helmer Christian Petzold’s “Barbara” and Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” Italy’s Oscar entry and Berlin Golden Bear winner.
Brit pic “Shame” received five nominations, including director and actor (Michael Fassbender).
The number of noms snagged by France’s Oscar entry “Intouchables” – include screenplay and actor, shared by two thesps, François Cluzet and Omar Sy – were one of the surprises of the EFA shortlist.
Experts suggest the Awards could boil down to a face-off between “Intouchables,” a European blockbuster which has scored north of $398 million worldwide, and “Amour,” a magnificent example of European high-art auteur filmmaking.
Two prior Haneke’s pics – “Cache” in 2005 and “White Ribbon” in 2009 – already won best pic EFA recognition
“‘Intouchables” nominations gives the lie to the claim that the European Film Academy doesn’t recognize European blockbusters,” Spanish producer Antonio Saura, an EFA board member, said Saturday at Spain’s Seville Film Fest, where the nominations were announced.
Whether “Intouchables” will parlay noms into kudos is another question.
The high profile battle for best actor also includes Gary Oldman (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“The Hunt”), who won at Cannes.
Emmanuelle Riva and Kate Winslet, star of Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” compete with Emilie Dequenne (“Our Children”), Nina Hoss (“Barbara”) and Margarethe Tiesel (“Paradise: Love”).
Confirming the strong presence of Cannes awards winners on the EFA shortlist, Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan has a run at best director with “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” winner of Cannes Grand Jury Prize in 2011.
The 25th European Film Awards winners will be unveiled Dec. 1 in Malta.
And the nominees are:
EUROPEAN FILM 2012
-“Amour”; Austria, France, Germany; directed by Michael Haneke; produced by Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz
-“Barbara”; Germany; directed by Christian Petzold; produced by Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Michael Weber
– “Caesar Must Die”; Italy; directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani; produced by Grazia Volpi
-“The Intouchables”; France; directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano; produced by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun
-“The Hunt”; Denmark; directed by Thomas Vinterberg ; produced by Morten Kaufmann and Sisse Graum Jorgensen
-“Shame”; UK; directed by Steve McQueen; produced by Iain Canning & Emile Sherman
EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2012
-Nuri Bilge Ceylan for “Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da” (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia)
-Michael Haneke for “Amour”
-Steve McQueen for “Shame”
-Paolo and Vittorio Taviani for “Caesar Must Die”
-Thomas Vinterberg for “The Hunt”
EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2012
-Emilie Dequenne in “A perdre la raison” (Our Children)
-Nina Hoss in “Barbara”
-Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
-Margarethe Tiesel in “Paradies: Liebe” (“Paradise: Love”)
-Kate Winslet in “Carnage”
EUROPEAN ACTOR 2012
-François Cluzet and Omar Sy in “The Intouchables”
-Michael Fassbender in “Shame”
-Mads Mikkelsen in “The Hunt”
-Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
-Jean-Louis Trintignant in “Love”
EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2012
-Michael Haneke for “Love”
-Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg for “The Hunt”
-Cristian Mungiu for Dupa Dealuri (“Beyond the Hills”)
-Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano for “The Intouchables”
-Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza for “Carnage”
CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2012
-Sean Bobbitt for “Shame”
-Bruno Delbonnel for “Faust”
-Darius Khondji for “Amour”
-Gokhan Tiryaki for “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”
-Hoyte Van Hoytema for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
EUROPEAN EDITOR 2012
-Janus Billeskov Jansen and Anne Osterud for “The Hunt”
-Roberto Perpignani for “Caesar Must Die”
-Joe Walker for “Shame”
EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2012
-Maria Djurkovic for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
-Niels Sejer for “En konlgelig Affaere” (A Royal Affair)
-Elena Zhukova for “Faust”
EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2012
-Cyrille Aufort and Gabriel Yared for “A Royal Affair”
-François Couturier for “Io sono Li” (Shun Li and the Poet)
-George Fenton for “The Angels’ Share”
-Alberto Iglesias for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”