Hollywood Star Vehicles Chase European Audience

European film fans to vote for EFA's People’s Choice Award

LONDON — English-language fare with Hollywood stars make up more than a third of the nominees for the European Film Academy’s People’s Choice Award, which will be voted for by film fans across Europe.

Nominees include “Anna Karenina,” starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, “The Best Offer,” toplining Geoffrey Rush and Donald Sutherland, “The Impossible,” which stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and “Love Is All You Need,” starring Pierce Brosnan.

Half of the pics were shot in the English language, reflecting a shift by European filmmakers toward English-lingo movies.

Films by Nordic helmers dominate the list, contributing four of the nominees, including Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg’s “Kon-Tiki” and Baltasar Kormakur’s “The Deep.”

Three pics are produced by U.K. companies, including Oscar docu winner “Searching for Sugar Man,” and Spain is repped by two films, including Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited.” Films from Central and Eastern European are completely shut out.

The sea plays a central part in the action of three of the films, portrayed as an uncontrollable and potentially destructive force to be feared, perhaps reflecting a mood of helplessness in Europe in the face of global threats such as the economic crisis, terrorism and climate change.

One of the pics — Felix Van Groeningen’s “The Broken Circle Breakdown” — featured in Variety’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch, a program that ran at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, in partnership with European Film Promotion.

The award will be handed out at the 26th European Film Awards ceremony on Dec. 7 in Berlin. Ernst & Young will act as official tabulator, endorsing the voting procedures and confirming the winner.

EFA PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD NOMINEES:
“Anna Karenina,” Joe Wright (U.K.)
“The Best Offer,” Giuseppe Tornatore (Italy)
“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix Van Groeningen (Belgium)
“The Deep,” Baltasar Kormakur (Iceland/Norway)
“The Gilded Cage,” Ruben Alves (Portugal/France)
“I’m So Excited,” Pedro Almodovar (Spain)
“The Impossible,” J.A. Bayona (Spain)
“Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg (Norway, Denmark, U.K., Germany, Sweden)
“Love Is All You Need,” Susanne Bier (Denmark)
“Oh Boy!,” Jan Ole Gerster (Germany)
“Searching for Sugar Man,” Malik Bendjelloul (U.K./Sweden)

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