'Gomorra' sweeps Euro nods


"Gomorra," Matteo Garrone's no-holds-barred look at the modern Italian mafia, whacked the competition at the 2008 European Film Awards, sweeping the top categories with five trophies including best European film and best European director.

Based on Roberto Saviano's nonfiction best-seller, "Gomorra" shines a light on the dark underside of the Neapolitan mob. It debuted at the Festival de Cannes, where it won the Grand Prix, and is Italy's nominee for the 2009 foreign-language film Oscar.

Toni Servillo won best European actor for his portrayal of dapper crime boss Franco, in charge of the lucrative business of disposing of toxic waste in picturesque farmland throughout Italy.

Garrone and Saviano — along with a screenwriting team that included Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni Di Gregorio and Massimo Gaudioso — won the EFA screenplay prize, and Marco Onorato took the best cinematographer nod.

Kristin Scott Thomas won best European actress for her performance as a woman released after 15 years in prison in Philippe Claudel's "I've Loved You So Long."

The 2008 People's Choice Award went to "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," directed by David Yates.

Oscar winner Judi Dench was honored with an EFA lifetime achievement award.

The 21st European Film Awards ceremony, presented by the European Film Academy, took place Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A complete list of winners is available at THR.com/film. (partialdiff)
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