"Melancholia" is the film to beat at this year's European Film Awards, which announced its nominated films Saturday at the Seville European Film Festival. The Lars von Trier film leads the pack with eight nominations including best film, best director, two best actress nods for Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg and best screenwriter. Following "Melancholia" -- all with half the number of noms it earned -- are Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech," Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist," Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre," Susanne Bier's "In a Better World" and Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne's "The Kid with a Bike." "The King's Speech" and "In a Better World" won best picture and best foreign film, respectively, at the Academy Awards this year.
Whether "Melancholia" will get as much love outside of Europe remains to be seen, when it opens in the U.S. in limited release on Nov. 11. The film, which follows a family's moments before the end of the world, is a gorgeous, daring portrayal of human instincts, depression and death, played equally brilliantly by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Its originality is hard to come by these days, or ever, really, and we hope it receives similar recognition come Oscar season, barring any further von Trier gaffes.
The European Film Awards -- which have honored the best of European cinema, directors, producers and actors every year since 1988 -- have never shied away from honoring controversial directors. Last year, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" swept the awards with six wins for best film, director, actor, screenwriter, composer and production designer.
Watch trailers for all the best film nominees, and see below for a full list of nominees. The awards will be presented on Dec. 3 in Berlin.
EUROPEAN FILM 2011 THE ARTIST, France WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Michel Hazanavicius PRODUCED BY: Thomas Langmann & Emmanuel Montamat
LE GAMIN AU VELO (The Kid with a Bike), Belgium/France/Italy WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne PRODUCED BY: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd & Andrea Occhipinti
HÆVNEN (In a Better World), Denmark DIRECTED BY: Susanne Bier WRITTEN BY: Anders Thomas Jensen PRODUCED BY: Sisse Graum Jørgensen
THE KING’S SPEECH, UK DIRECTED BY: Tom Hooper WRITTEN BY: David Seidler PRODUCED BY: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
LE HAVRE, Finland/France/Germany WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Aki Kaurismäki PRODUCED BY: Aki Kaurismäki & Karl Baumgartner
MELANCHOLIA, Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Lars von Trier PRODUCED BY: Meta Louise Foldager & Louise Vesth
EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2011 Susanne Bier for HÆVNEN (In a Better World) Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne for LE GAMIN AU VELO (The Kid with a Bike) Aki Kaurismäki for LE HAVRE Béla Tarr for A TORINOI LO (The Turin Horse) Lars von Trier for MELANCHOLIA
EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2011: Kirsten Dunst in MELANCHOLIA Cécile de France in LE GAMIN AU VELO (The Kid with a Bike) Charlotte Gainsbourg in MELANCHOLIA Nadezhda Markina in ELENA Tilda Swinton in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
EUROPEAN ACTOR 2011: Jean Dujardin in THE ARTIST Colin Firth in THE KING'S SPEECH Mikael Persbrandt in HÆVNEN (In a Better World) Michel Piccoli in HABEMUS PAPAM André Wilms in LE HAVRE
EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2011: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne for LE GAMIN AU VELO (The Kid with a Bike) Anders Thomas Jensen for HÆVNEN (In a Better World) Aki Kaurismäki for LE HAVRE Lars von Trier for MELANCHOLIA
CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2011: Manuel Alberto Claro for MELANCHOLIA Fred Kelemen for A TORINOI LO (The Turin Horse) Guillaume Schiffman for THE ARTIST Adam Sikora for ESSENTIAL KILLING
EUROPEAN EDITOR 2011: Tariq Anwar for THE KING'S SPEECH Mathilde Bonnefoy for DREI (Three) Molly Malene Stensgaard for MELANCHOLIA
EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2011: Paola Bizzarri for HABEMUS PAPAM Antxón Gómez for LA PIEL QUE HABITO (The Skin I Live in) Jette Lehmann for MELANCHOLIA
EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2011: Ludovic Bource for THE ARTIST Alexandre Desplat for THE KING’S SPEECH Alberto Iglesias for LA PIEL QUE HABITO (The Skin I Live in) Mihály Vig for A TORINOI LO (The Turin Horse)