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Vera Drake triumphs at European Film Awards

Story by: Jack Foley

CRITICALLY-acclaimed abortion drama, Vera Drake, has landed another top award for its main star, Imelda Staunton, at the European Film Awards.

The British actress was named best actress on Saturday (December 11, 2004), at the prestigious ceremony in Barcelona.

And the win follows her success at Venice and LA, whose critics also bestowed best actress accolades upon her.

It also means that her chances of an Oscar nomination are also strong.

Of the other top winners on the night, German film, Gegen Die Wand (Head On), directed by Fatih Akin, was named the best European film of the year.

While the best director was named as Alejandro Amenabar, for Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside).

Its star, the ever-excellent Javier Bardem, was named best actor.

Amenabar's success came at the cost of compatriot, Pedro Almodovar, whose latest offering, Bad Education, was forced to leave empty-handed, despite being nominated for seven awards.

However, Penelope Cruz picked up an audience award for her performance in Italy's Non Ti Muovere (Don't Move) - an accolade voted for by cinema-goers across Europe.

And Greek director, Theo Angelopoulos, was recognised by The European Film Academy's Critics' Award for his film, Trilogy - The Weeping Meadow.

Of the Hollywood movies in the running for awards, both Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Michael Moore's Cannes-winner, Fahrenheit 9/11, lost out in the best non-European film category to Prix Screen International 2024, a joint French and Chinese production, directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

The European Film Awards are staged by the European Film Academy.

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