The 31st Spanish film academy awards ceremony, better know as the 'Goyas', was held in Madrid last Saturday night. As the red carpet was rolled out and the best-dressed guests were subjected to the usual minuscule analysis of their choice of dress, there was widespread expectation that Spanish-produced A Monster Calls would do extremely well - and it did not disappoint.
The film, based on the book by Patrick Ness, swept away nine of the 28 awards, including Best Director for Juan Antonio Bayona and Best Original Soundtrack. Staring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell and Liam Neeson, it tells the story of a boy who seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mother's terminal illness.
The most-coveted prizes for best picture and best screenplay went however to 'Tarde para la ira', (which in English is released as The Fury of a Patient Man). This tells the story of a man who loses his wife during a vicious robbery and who quietly plans to exact revenge while the anger grows within him. Raúl Arévalo won the prize for best new director for his work on the film, which he also co-wrote.
Other highlights of the evening included the award for Emma Suárez of Best Actress for Pedro Almodóvar's Julieta and Roberto Álamo as Best Actor for 'Que Dios nos perdone'
A UK academy president
The usual large television audience for the event were able to see the first Goyas speech by the new Spanish- film-academy president, Yvonne Blake. Oscar-winning Yvonne is unusual in that she was born and raised in the UK before finding success in the Spanish film industry. She was awarded an Oscar in 1971 for the costume design on the film Nicholas and Alexandra.
Yvonne was elected by colleagues as President of 'La Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España' in October last year.