For those who think the Golden Globes are awkward, the European Film Awards' ceremony would result in the strangest beast of them all.
I had never seen them until yesterday afternoon and while the European Academy hasn't gained the worldwide recognition the Cannes, Venice and Berlin Film Festivals have, they have been doing some remarkable work for the past two decades.
Their picks in any year make AMPAS look like they're rewarding high school productions, alas still nothing in the world compares to the glitz and glamor of Oscar so let's move on...
These are things that caught my eye about the ceremony:
Danny Boyle, who's still collecting awards for "Slumdog Millionaire" looked so confused the whole evening!
I mean it's understandable when the ceremony has no real official language-there were speeches in at least four different languages, with no subtitles-and Boyle seemed like he didn't even know when they were talking to him.
When "Slumdog" won People's Choice, he was applauding excitedly until someone pointed out to him that he should be onstage accepting the award...
David Kross, who was nominated for Best Actor in "The Reader" embodied that sort of effortless, I-hate-you-for-it sexiness that people in our continent work so hard to achieve.
Kate Winslet won Best Actress for "The Reader" and since she wasn't there, director Stephen Daldry accepted on her behalf.
I hate when nominees don't attend ceremonies. The Actress category featured Winslet, Penélope Cruz and Charlotte Gainsbourg, none of whom attended. Even the host made a joke out of it pointing out how they were such terrific actresses they could even play invisible women.
The weirdest part of the whole thing was how instead of an orchestra they featured a band called Bauhouse who used film clips, music and words to create completely new musical pieces.
The campiest of them all featured Marlene Dietrich, with whom they created a trip-hoppy, oddly sexy piece of post modernist music.
This use of classics: sacrilege or genius?
Isabelle Huppert got a World Cinema Award and upon starting her speech and wondering what language to speak in she declared "cinema is the language of Europe".
David Kross, and his iPhone, looked so good...
Look at the nominees for Best Director! Michael Haneke won for "The White Ribbon", but just wow!
The Europeans are not afraid to show explicit stuff on TV. They even go for full frontal in the clips featuring the nominees.
Can you imagine that ever happening at Oscar?
The FCC would implode!
Anthony Dod Mantle who won Best Cinematographer for "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Antichrist", wasn't in the ceremony and sent a weird taped speech.
However after the clip ended, they still went ahead and called Danny Boyle to accept the award for him. Danny of course had no idea what was going on...
Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" swept the awards. Gotta love the look on the presenters' faces as they obviously don't understand his speech.
When AMPAS fears anything Sean Penn has to say (tape delay was invented just for him) the EFA's went ahead and featured a commercial starring him!
It didn't happen during a break, they actually announced they would air a commercial in the middle of the ceremony and gave path to Penn's World Food Program ad which criticizes the bail outs and the Iraq invasion openly.
Then they proceeded to cheer it.
Why aren't all screenwriters as handsome as this one?
See what I mean about Kross?
Michael Haneke accepting the award for Best Film.
I really can't wait to see "The White Ribbon".