Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem Among Nominees for Spain's Goya Awards

Courtesy of TIFF
'The Realm'

'The Realm’ and foreign-language Oscar contender ‘Champions' lead the nominations.

A thriller about corrupt politicians and a feel-good comedy about special-needs basketball players will face off at the 33rd annual edition of Spain's top film honors, the Goya Awards, taking place in Seville on Feb. 2.

With 13 nods, political thriller The Realm led the nominations to the Goya Awards unveiled Wednesday in Madrid, followed closely by Spain’s foreign-language Oscar nominee Champions, which got 11 nods.

Both will compete for best film against Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, San Sebastian International Film Festival Golden Shell winner Between Two Waters, and Carmen & Lola, the Madrid-set love story between two gypsy women that premiered at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight.

In a noteworthy show for female directors, Arantxa Echevarria, whose Carmen & Lola earned seven nominations, will face off against two other women for the best new director award, including Ana by Day’s Andrea Jaurrieta and Celia Rico Clavellino for Journey to a Mother’s Room. The other nominees are Cesar Esteban Alenda and Jose Esteban Alenda for love tale Sin Fin.

Iranian director Farhadi earned a total eight nominations for his Spain-set thriller, including nods for director and for his original script, and for stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in the best actress and actor categories, respectively.

Champions’ Javier Fesser and The Realm’s Rodrigo Sorogoyen are also up for best director, competing against Between Two Waters’ Isaki Lacuesta.

Echevarria will compete for the best original script Goya for Carmen & Lola against Farhadi, Fesser and co-scripter David Marques, as well as Sorogoyen and co-writer Isabel Pena. Best adapted script nominations went to Marta Sofia Martins and Natxo Lopez for comedy Jefe, Alvaro Brechner for A Twelve-Year Night, Borja Cobeaga and Diego San Jose for Superlopez and Paul Laverty for Yuli.

Javier Gutierrez, who plays a pro basketball coach facing tough-yet-hilarious life lessons when he’s sentenced to community service coaching a disabled team in Champions, is nominated for best actor alongside Bardem, The Realm’s crooked politician Antonio de la Torre, and veteran Jose Coronado as a father seeking vigilante justice in Your Son.

De la Torre is also nominated for best supporting actor for his role in Uruguay-set historical drama A Twelve-Year Night, where he’ll compete with Juan Margallo for Champions, Luiz Zahera for The Realm and Eduard Fernandez for Everybody Knows.

Some critics may miss director and script recognition at the Goyas for Carlos Vermut’s well-received Quien te Cantara, which earned seven nominations, including nods in the female acting categories.

Facing off for best actress against Cruz are veterans Najwa Nimri, playing a singer with amnesia in Quien Te Cantara, and Lola Duenas for her role as a newly empty-nest mother in Journey to a Mother’s Room, as well as Susi Sanchez from mother-daughter tale Sunday’s Illness.

Up for supporting actress are Natalia de Molina for Quien te Cantara, Carolina Yuste for Carmen & Lola, Anna Castillo for Journey to a Mother’s Room and Ana Wagener in The Realm.

Many of the same films earned best new actor and actress nominations as well, including: Champions’ Jesus Vidal and Gloria Ramos; Moreno Borja and two actresses, Rosy Rodriguez and Zaira Romero, for Carmen & Lola; Eva Llorach for Quien te Cantara; Francisco Reyes for The Realm; and Carlos Acosta for playing a young Cuban dancer in Yuli, one of this title’s five Goya nominations.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma leads the nominees for best Ibero-American film, competing against Argentina’s El Angel, Uruguay’s The Twelve-Year Night and Chile’s Los Perros.

Best European Award nominations came with no real surprise. They are for Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Lukas Dhont’s Girl and Sally Potter’s The Party.

Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a Spanish co-production, also earned five nominations, for original song, production design, art direction, hair and makeup and costume design. Concentration camp historical drama The Photographer of Mauthausen earned nominations in the same latter four categories.