Presenter Alexandra Maria Lara and Bente Trier accepting the award on behalf of her husband (European Film 2011 for MELANCHOLIA)
Picture: Franziska Krug / Action Press
There was a happy ending for Melancholia at this years’ European Film Awards. Melancholia, a beautiful film about the end of the world, was nominated in seven categories and took home three awards including the coveted award for European Film 2011. Director Lars Von Trier’s wife Bente Froge collected the award on his behalf and mentioned that her husband had taken a vow of silence after his controversial comments at the Cannes Film Festival resulted in his being made persona non grata. Froge went on to say that the director had no message, ‘but he did ask that I should wave to you in a kind and gentle way.’ Von Trier lost out to Hævnen (In a Better World) which won it’s director Susanne Bier the award for European Director.
Elsewhere at the awards, British talent won the accolades for acting: Tilda Swinton won for her celebrated performance as a mother driven to the edge of her reason in We Need To Talk About Kevin. Colin Firth was dubbed European Actor for his Oscar® -winning role in The King’s Speech, and Terry Gilliam took home the short film award for The Wholly Family.
Another honour for the UK saw Stephen Frears recognised for Lifetime Achievement. When accepting his award for his diverse career, which includes works such as High Fidelity, The Snapper and Dangerous Liaisons, Frears reminded the audience ‘I am just a bloke who makes films.’ Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen was awarded European Achievement in World Cinema.
Ireland’s representative, Adam Sikora, was nominated for European Cinematographer for Irish co-production, Essential Killing, which screened at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this year. Sikora lost out to Manuel Alberto Claro for his work on Melancholia.
Arguably the biggest loser on the night was Michel Hazanavicius’s wonderful silent film The Artist. The film was the darling of Cannes and is already leading the rumours for next year’s Academy Awards® , but only took home one award; European Composer.
The European Film Awards took place on 2nd December in Berlin.