MADRID — Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” took home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Antonio Banderas) and Best Original Screenplay at the 34th Spanish Academy Goya Awards, as well as Best Editing, Original Music and Supporting Actress (Julieta Serrano).
Almodóvar’s night did have one blemish, however. On the red carpet ahead of the ceremony he accidentally let slip that actress Penelope Cruz will be handing out this year’s Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars, as she and Banderas did last time Almodóvar won, with 2000’s “All About my Mother.”
Saturday night’s ceremony ran like a marathon, with Almodóvar and Alejandro Amenábar’s “While at War” exchanging the lead back and forth over the 3.5 hour ceremony before “Pain and Glory” took the ceremony’s final three prizes, ending with seven awards while Amenábar’s Spanish Civil War epic notched five.
In his first on-stage appearance of the night, Almodóvar addressed Spain’s newly elected president Pedro Sánchez, in the audience and a vocal proponent of the arts and culture, wishing him well over the next four years, noting that any success for Sánchez would be a success for the Spanish people.
When he returned later to accept his best director prize, his message was more specific. “Spanish cinema is in a good place, but it has many dark areas. I would like to tell the President that auteur cinema, independent, outside the margins of the platforms, is in serious danger of extinction,” he said.
Belén Cuesta took home best actress for her commanding performance in “The Endless Trench,” another Spanish Civil War film and San Sebastian’s biggest winner. Best known for her comedic work, critical praise now backed by awards mark Cuesta as a major dramatic talent in Spain.
A betters’ favorite heading into the night, Cannes best actor and Oscar-nominee Antonio Banderas took best actor for his performance in Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.”
Without doubt the most emotional and grateful speech addressed to Almodóvar on the evening, Banderas’ acceptance thanked the director for his friendship and both his life and cinema lessons.
“In 40 years, I’ve never met an artist with the loyalty you have to your cinema,” he said. “I’ve learned so much from you, not only about the art world, but also about life. I had to meet you to get here. I have done my best work with you.”
“Today is three years since I had a heart attack. Not only am I alive, but I feel very alive,” he concluded.
Best animated feature went to “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” a resourceful chronicle of the shooting of “Land Without Bread,” directed by Spanish master Luis Buñuel in 1933 in Spain’s secluded highlands of Las Hurdes. Sold by Latido and produced by Sygnatia in co-production with The Glow Animation Studio and Dutch outfit Submarine, it’s proved an award magnet with kudos including the Jury Award at Annecy and a European Film Award.
Academy president Mariano Barroso gave his annual state of the union-style address, where he celebrated the state of Spanish cinema.
More than 105 million viewers saw films in the theater in Spain in 2019, 8% more than the previous year (97.8 million) and the highest number of the last decade, according to Comscore data. In total, the 2019 box office take ended at €624.1 million ($6.88 million), up 7% from 2018.
What Barroso did not mention however, is the screen share for Spanish films, 15.9 million viewers, fell to 15% of total box office, the worst figure in the last six years.
He also announced 2021 as the year of Berlanga, “To celebrate the birth of one of our founders. It will help us understand some things about our country and get to know each other a little better.”
Born in Valencia, Spain in 1921 Luis García-Berlanga is a key name in the history of Spanish cinema, not just due to masterpieces such as “Welcome Mr. Marshall!” (1953) “Placido” (1961) and “The Executioner” (1963) but also due to the deep impact he made by introducing Italian neorealism to the country and a creator of a very singular style in social comedy, along with his regular writer Rafael Azcona.
Other highlights included Best New Actress going to 84-year-old Benedicta Sánchez from “Fire Will Come,” Jamie Cullum’s moving performance during the “In Memoria” section, and Spanish singing contest-winner Amaia, who sang a tribute to honorary Goya winner Marisol.
2020 Goya Awards
And the winners are:
“Pain and Glory” (Pedro Almodóvar)
Belén Funes (“A Thief’s Daughter”)
Belén Cuesta (“The Endless Trench”)
Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”)
Julieta Serrano (“Pain and Glory”)
Eduard Fernández (“While at War”)
Benito Zambrano, Daniel Remón and Pablo Remón (“Out in the Open”)
Mauro Hercé (“Fire Will Come”)
Alberto Iglesias (“Pain and Glory”)
“Intemperie” by Javier Ruibal (“Out in the Open”)
Enric Auquer (“Eye for an Eye”)
Benedicta Sánchez (“Fire Will Come”)
“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles” (Salvador Simó)
“Heroic Losers” (Sebastián Borensztein, Argentina)
“Les Misérables” (Ladj Ly, France)
“Ara Malikian: una vida entre las cuerdas” (Nata Moreno)
Pepa Flores (“Marisol”)
LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
“Suc de Síndria” (Irene Moray)
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
“Madrid 2120” (José Luís Quirós, Paco Sáez)
“Our Life as Refugee Children in Europe” (Silvia Venegas)
Teresa Font (“Pain and Glory”)
Carla Pérez de Albéniz (“While at War”)
Sonia Grande (“While at War”)
Juan Pedro de Gaspar (“While at War”)
Iñaki Díez, Alazne Ameztoy, Xanti Salvador, Nacho Royo-Villanova (“The Endless Trench”)
MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN
Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver, Nacho Díaz (“While at War”)
Mario Campoy, Iñaki Madariaga (“The Platform”)