Good Bye! European Film Awards.

Germany-info, the news service of Germany’s US embassy is claiming that Wolfgang Becker’s “Good Bye! Lenin” is poised to sweep the European film awards which are being handed out on December 6 in Berlin.

The competition for “Best Film 2003” includes Lars von Trier’s “Dogville,” Michael Winterbottom’s “In this World,” François Ozon’s “Swimming Pool,” Stephen Frears’ “Dirty Pretty Things,” and Isabel Coixet’s “My Life without Me.”

Now “Good Bye! Lenin” is certainly a great movie and it deserves all the success it currently enjoys, notably in France, where now more than a million people went to see it on the silver screen. It is being released in 65 countries. Even though 2003 saw a number of eligible movies for a German nomination to the Oscar’s best foreign language movie, it was no surprise at all that “Good Bye! Lenin” won the nomination. It is, also in my opinion, the best German film of 2003.

But having recently seen lars von Trier’s “Dogville” I don’t think “Good Bye! Lenin” is the best European picture this year, I’m afraid. While I’d actually say that all competitors are incommensurable, juries at festivals usually aren’t offered that easy way out. So if I were asked and then forced to make a decision, “Dogville” would be the one. To say this about an epic play where actors knock on imaginary doors of inexistent houses in a town with streets merely painted on the studio floor is quite something for someone like me who usually rolls his eyes whenever I hear of “Brechtian influences” on a movie. So, if you haven’t yet seen “Dogville”, do that. But be prepared to be shocked.

Oh, and while I’m talking about great films ;). “FilMZ” the “Festibal Of The German Film” will be showing “Not The First, Won’t Be The Last”, a short film I act in which was produced by my friend Sebastian Linke.