The 9th March edition of Cineuropa draws attention to non-American winners at this week’s Oscars, the holy grail of film awards. After 2009, when the UK production Slumdog Millionnaire blitzed the Oscars, European names in this year’s winners’ list were few and far between.
Most notable was Austrian Christoph Waltz who was a shoo-in to win best supporting actor for his role as the white-gloved, really nasty Nazi in Inglourious Basterds. Waltz had already won at Cannes, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAS prior to triumphing at the Oscars.
Italian-born Mauro Fiore was awarded the best cinematography Oscar for his work on Avatar. In accepting the award Fiore noted that this was the first time in Oscar history that a film with many computer-generated images mixed with lots of live action had won an Oscar.
Another non-American winner for Avatar was Ireland’s Richard Baneham, who, as animation supervisor on the film, won the visual effects Oscar along with three American colleagues.
There was a total of 16 British Oscar nominations this year, but only two wins. Britain’s Sandy Powell won the costume design award for The Young Victoria. Powell was quite blase in accepting the award, saying she’d already won two Oscars before. Powell’s countryman Ray Beckett shared the sound design Oscar with Paul N.J. Ottosson for The Hurt Locker.