European Film Awards: Who will win, and who should

Posted by · 4:30 am · December 7th, 2013

The 26th European Film Awards take place in the lovely, Christmas-spirited (and absolutely bloody freezing) Berlin tonight, and I’ll once more be on the scene to bring you the winners as they’re announced. The general industry shorthand for the EFAs is that they’re the “European Oscars,” voted for by a similarly expansive academy of industry professionals, with all the oddities and occasional blind spots that come with that.

Still, it’s a distinguished event: it’s churlish to get too picky about an awards ceremony where past Best Film winners include “Amour,” “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” “Talk to Her” and “Breaking the Waves.” What film will join their ranks this evening? It’s harder than usual to say — the sweep mentality sets in at some EFA ceremonies, but this year’s competition seems more evenly weighted than most.

Unexpectedly, it’s Belgium’s bluegrass-soundtracked melodrama “The Broken Circle Breakdown” that leads the field with five nominations. I’d have expected “Blue is the Warmest Color,” for example, to be a nomination hog, but it’s had a strange ride here. First missing the initial longlist entirely, then bucking the odds to make the slate after all — albeit only in two categories. (An EFA committee adds one nominee per category after the initial vote; I suspect “Blue” may have been a beneficiary.)

English-speaking cinema didn’t fare well this year, with “Anna Karenina,” somewhat surprisingly, the only British film to be seen on the list. Keira Knightley adds some star presence to the acting races, as does Naomi Watts’ Oscar-nominated turn in “The Impossible” — but don’t hold your breath for them to win. Who will? Click through the gallery below for a category-by-category breakdown.

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