Why the Euro Film Awards Finally Matter

44 REP The Artist Jean Dujardin Berenice Bejo H
Peter Iovino/The Weinstein Co.

Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" is nominated for four European Film Awards, including best film.

The Dec. 3 event could be an early indicator for Globes, Oscars.

The European Film Awards, the European Film Academy's Oscar-equivalent, always have been prestigious. But when Europe's top film honors are handed out Dec. 3 at the Tempodrom in Berlin, they will be something new: relevant. For the first time in recent memory, the EFAs could prove to be an indicator of potential nominees and winners of Golden Globes and Oscars. Because of their place at the end of the calendar, the EFAs traditionally have acted as a final stop on a movie's awards run. EFA contenders include several of this year's hottest awards-season hopefuls, including Michel Hazanavicius' silent film The Artist, Wim Wenders' dance documentary Pina and Aki Kaurismaki's immigrant tale Le Havre. Meanwhile, the EFA actress race contains two of the most talked-about performances of the year: Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin and Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's Melancholia. If Dunst were to triumph, she would be the first American to win at the event. The 24th annual EFAs have a ways to go before they are mentioned in the same breath as the Oscars, but this year at least, the world will be watching.