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Oscar Watch: European Film Awards Boost Polanski's "Ghost Writer"

by Anne Thompson
November 6, 2010 10:19 AM
3 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Every bit of attention that makes Academy members stick a movie into their DVD player is a good thing. So Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer leading the European Film Awards with seven nominations (best film, director, screenplay, cinematography and actor Ewan McGregor) could boost an awards campaign. That is, if Summit wants to spend the money to mount one as they did last year with Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. Well, they do, even though they released the well-reviewed $30-million Euro-funded The Ghost Writer last March to a modest $15.5 million gross (it did $47.7 million overseas).

Why lavish spending on an Oscar campaign? Increased marketing and attention will boost DVD sales for Summit Homevideo. Summit is pushing the film for Globes and Oscars: they're doing for your consideration ads, guild Q & As, the works. They've hired 42 West Oscar maven Cynthia Swartz to mastermind the push. They've already mailed DVDs for the Hollywood Foreign Press; AMPAS screeners go out soon. What are the film's chances? McGregor doesn't have much traction on best-actor charts, although it's the best performance he's given in years. Pierce Brosnan is also terrific in a supporting role. The movie is an impeccably mounted thriller with a tight screenplay by Robert Harris and Polanski, but that is a competitive category. While this movie is elevated by Polanski into a much-better-than-average studio thriller, much like Ben Affleck's The Town, because it's well-made entertainment doesn't necessarily mean it's an Oscar contender.

Polanski is inside the Academy's Oscar club--in 2003 The Pianist won three Oscars, including best actor (Adrien Brody), best adapted screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and best director, even though the self-exiled filmmaker couldn't attend. He earned much sympathy in Hollywood over the past year for his controversial September imprisonment and house arrest in Switzerland, stemming from his 1977 L.A. arrest on a statutory rape charge. He was in set free in July when a Swiss judge refused to extradite him to the U.S. Marina Zenovich, who directed the Emmy-winning 2008 HBO doc Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, is filming a follow-up.

Best Actress nominee Lesley Manville also gets a boost for Mike Leigh's Another Year. Full nominations are listed on the jump; the awards show streams live December 4 from Tallinn, Estonia.


NOMINATIONS FOR THE 23rd EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS
At the Seville European Film Festival the European Film Academy and EFA Productions announced the nominations for the European Film Awards 2010. The more than 2,300 EFA Members will now vote for the winners which will be presented during the Awards Ceremony on 4 December in Tallinn/Estonia.
Nominated are:

EUROPEAN FILM 2010:
BAL (Honey), Turkey/Germanydirected by Semih Kaplanoğluwritten by Semih Kaplanoğlu & Orçun Köksalproduced by Semih Kaplanoğlu & Johannes Rexin
DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (Of Gods and Men), France directed by Xavier Beauvoiswritten by Etienne Comar & Xavier Beauvois
THE GHOST WRITER, France/Germany/UKdirected by Roman Polanski written by Robert Harris & Roman Polanskiproduced by Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde & Roman Polanski
LEBANON, Israel/Germany/France written and directed by Samuel Maozproduced by Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, David Silber, Uri Sabag, Einat Bickel, Benjamina Mirnik & Illan Girard
EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (The Secret in their Eyes), Spain/Argentina directed by Juan José Campanellawritten by Eduardo Sacheri & Juan José Campanellaproduced by Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky & Juan José Campanella
SOUL KITCHEN, Germany directed by Fatih Akin written by Fatih Akin & Adam Bousdoukosproduced by Fatih Akin & Klaus Maeck

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2010:
Olivier Assayas for CARLOS
Semih Kaplanoğlu for BAL (Honey)
Samuel Maoz for LEBANON
Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER
Paolo Virzi for LA PRIMA COSA BELLA (The First Beautiful Thing)

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2010:
Zrinka Cvitešić in NA PUTU (On the Path)
Sibel Kekilli in DIE FREMDE (When We Leave)
Lesley Manville in ANOTHER YEAR
Sylvie Testud in LOURDES
Lotte Verbeek in NOTHING PERSONAL

EUROPEAN ACTOR 2010:
Jakob Cedergren in SUBMARINO
Elio Germano in LA NOSTRA VITA (Our Life)
Ewan McGregor in THE GHOST WRITER
George Pistereanu in EU CAND VREAU SA FLUIER, FLUIER (If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle)
Luis Tosar in CELDA 211 (Cell 211)

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2010:
Jorge Guerricaechevarría & Daniel Monzón for CELDA 211 (Cell 211)
Robert Harris & Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER
Samuel Maozfor LEBANON
Radu Mihaileanufor LE CONCERT (The Concert)

CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2010:
Giora Bejach for LEBANON
Caroline Champetier for DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (Of Gods and Men)
Pavel Kostomarov for Как я провел этим летом (How I Ended this Summer)
Barış Özbiçer for BAL (Honey)

EUROPEAN EDITOR 2010:
Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier for CARLOS
Arik Lahav-Leibovich for LEBANON
Hervé de Luze for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2010:
Paola Bizzarri & Luis Ramirezfor IO, DON GIOVANNI (I, Don Giovanni)
Albrecht Konradfor THE GHOST WRITER
Markku Pätilä & Jaagup Roometfor PÜHA TÕNU KIUSAMINE (The Temptation of St. Tony)

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2010:
Ales Brezina for KAWASAKIHO RŮŽE (Kawasaki’s Rose)
Pasquale Catalano for MINE VAGANTI (Loose Cannons)
Alexandre Desplat for THE GHOST WRITER
Gttary Yershon for ANOTHER YEAR

The European Film Awards 2010 are presented by the European Film Academy e.V. and EFA Productions gGmbH with the support of European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011, Estonian Ministry of Culture, the City of Tallinn, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Enterprise Estonia, Estonian Public Broadcasting, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and BDG.

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More: Awards, Directors, Oscars, Golden Globes

3 Comments

  • Ralph Hooper | November 8, 2010 6:30 AMReply

    THE GHOST WRITER is a superb film, beautifully written, directed and acted. It would be a travesty if it were not included in the 10 nominated best films.

  • Keil Shults | November 8, 2010 3:59 AMReply

    Yeah, I also think it deserves to be among the Top 10 (as of this moment). I bet the studio wishes they'd waited to release it until after the controversy died down, which would also have been prime awards season time.

  • Dixon Steele | November 7, 2010 5:23 AMReply

    Whatever one might think of Polanski personally, THE GHOST WRITER was brilliant, probably the best film of the year so far.

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