Amenabar, Almodovar Top Spain's Goya Nominations

Pain and Glory - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

Almodovar's 'Pain and Glory' earned 16 nominations, versus 17 for Amenabar's 'While at War,' setting up the two veteran directors for a Goya showdown Jan.25.

Veteran Spanish filmmakers Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar are, as expected, the frontrunners for the 2020 Goya Awards, Spain's top film honor, after picking up 16 and 17 Goya nominations, respectively, for their latest efforts, Pain and Glory and While at War

Almodovar's semiautobiographical tale, which premiered in Cannes this year, winning a best actor honor for star Antonio Banderas, picked up 16 Goya noms in top creative and technical categories, including best film, director, original script, music and five nods in acting categories, including for leads Banderas and Penélope Cruz.

Amenabar's reflection on the Spanish Civil War did that one better, earning 17 nominations, including for best film, director, original script, five acting nods and one for best original music, written by Amenabar himself, as well as nominations in another eight technical categories.

Just behind While at War and Pain and Glory in terms of nominations, was The Endless Trench, a hit at September's San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it took home best script and a best director award for trio Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga. The film, about a man who spent 33 years hiding in his home after Spain's Civil War, is up for 15 Goyas, including best film, director and original script.

Other best film nominees include Benito Zambrano's Intemperie, which picked up a total of five Goya noms, and Fire Will Come, which is up for four Goyas including best director for Oliver Laxe. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia's dystopian thriller The Platform, which sold to Netflix after its Toronto Festival debut, has three nominations, including for best new director and best original script.

Up for Best European Film at the Goyas, from among 53 contenders, are Ali Abbasi's fantasy drama Border, Ladj Ly's police brutality exposé Les Miserables, Céline Sciamma's feminist period piece Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Danny Boyle's feel-good crossover hit Yesterday.

Best Ibero-American Film nominees from 15 contenders include Chile's Araña, Costa Rica's El despertar de las hormigas, Argentina's La odisea de los giles and Colombia's Monos.

This year's Honorific Goya will go to Pepa Flores, better known as Marisol, a child actress who starred in dozens of musicals and reached her height of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.

Last year's top-nominated films were political thriller The Realm and comedy Champions, also Spain's nominee to the international Oscar. The Realm went home from the 33rd annual event with seven top awards, while Champions nabbed the best film prize.

The 2020 Goya Awards will be held in Málaga on Jan. 25.