MADRID – A Basque period drama detailing a sibling rivalry involving the world’s tallest man, an adaptation of a 1959 novel that follows a woman’s endeavor to open a bookshop in an English village against all odds and the story of a struggling author desperate for inspiration became favorites for best film at Wednesday’s unveiling of the nominations for the 32nd edition of Spain’s Goya awards.
Leading the pack with 13 nominations, including best film, “Handia” by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño sets the stage for an unusual brotherly relationship when Martin returns to the Basque region of Spain after fighting in the First Carlist War (1833-39) only to find his younger brother has not only outgrown him but everyone else in the world, opening a world of lucrative possibilities that will test their love.
“The Bookshop,” by Isabel Coixet, followed close behind with 12 nominations, while “El autor” (“The Author”), a film by Manuel Martin Cuenca that follows an aspiring writer’s frantic search for inspiration, is tipped for nine awards.
Also in contention for best film are Carla Simon’s “Estiu 1993” (“Summer 1993”), a Catalan-language coming-of-age tale, and “Veronica” by Paco Plaza, a Spanish horror that follows a teenage girl tormented by demons after an Ouija board game goes awry.
Martin Cuenca, Coixet, Plaza and Garaño are all to vie for the Goya for best direction.
Up for best female actor are Maribel Verdu for her role in the Spanish thriller “Abracadabra,” Nathalie Poza in “No Se Decir Adios” (“I Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye”), Emily Mortimer for “The Bookshop” and Penelope Cruz for her role as a journalist romantically involved with Pablo Escobar in “Loving Pablo.”
In the male category, Javier Gutierrez (“The Author”), Javier Bardem (“Loving Pablo”), Andres Gertrudix for his role in “Morir,” and Antonio de la Torre (“Abracadabra”) were nominated for the coveted prize.
The Goya Awards have since 1987 showcased some of the best of Spanish, Latin American and European cinema, as selected by the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Art and Science.