Major no-shows, an embarrassingly inebriated presenter and a bombastic, rocking musical accompaniment by Finland’s Leningrad Cowboys underscored why the European Film Awards will never be anything remotely resembling the Oscars.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the high-brow celebration of European arthouse cinema, which again boasted a lot more grunge than glamour Dec. 1.
Supplying the glitz quotient on the red carpet at a former bus depot called the Arena were such Euro stars as Jeanne Moreau, Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Beart, Sebastian Koch and Mads Mikkelsen.
A slew of winners skipped the awards’ 20th anni celebration, however, most notably Jean-Luc Godard, who canceled at the last minute in protest of his lifetime achievement prize, and Helen Mirren, who won actress for “The Queen.”
European Film Academy prexy Wim Wenders read a somber message sent by Godard, who quoted the 19th-century German poet Eduard Morike: “Oh, world, let me be! Entice me not with gifts of love. Let this heart in solitude have its bliss, its pain.”
The aud had its own painful moment watching a wobbly Christopher Doyle present Michael Ballhaus with his kudo.