'Cell 211' tops Spain's Goya noms

'Agora,' 'Dancer and the Thief' also earn multiple mentions

MADRID -- Daniel Monzon's prison drama "Cell 211" and Alejandro Amenabar's Ancient Egypt epic "Agora" led the pack with 16 and 13 nominations, respectively, including all the main categories, for the 24th Goya Awards, announced Saturday.
 
The two films will vie for the top categories of best film and director against Fernando Trueba's "The Dancer and the Thief," with nine nominations, and Juan Jose Campanella's "The Secret in Their Eyes," with eight.
 
Gone are the days when one strong contender snagged 18 or 19 nominations as the only powerhouse in the Spanish industry. The nominations for 2010 divvy up the biggest nods among a half-dozen titles, like Daniel Sanchez Arevalo's "Gordos," with eight nominations; Sigfrid Monleon's "The Consul of Sodoma," with six; and Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces," with five.
 
Penelope Cruz will run a tight race in the actress category for her role in Almodovar's "Embraces" against Maribel Verdu for her part in Francis Ford Coppola's mystery "Tetro," Rachel Weisz in "Agora" and Lola Duenas from "Me Too."
 
Argentine actor Ricardo Darin will contend in the actor category for his role in "Dancer and the Thief" against Luis Tosar for "Cell 211," Jordi Molla for "Consul of Sodoma" and Antonio de la Torre for "Gordos."
 
The Spanish Film Academy's Goya Awards will be handed out in a gala ceremony Feb. 14 in Madrid. The 28 categories include three for short films and an honorary Goya for director Antonio Mercero.
 
The Goya nominations were selected from the 120 Spanish and Latin films released in Spain between Dec. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, and stayed in theaters for at least one continuous week, with the exception of documentaries, which are allowed a three-day run.
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