Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Sea Inside” swept all the major honors, including best picture, at the 19th Spanish Academy Awards over the weekend, winning 14 Goya statuettes from its 15 nominations.
The true-life film, which stars Javier Bardem as a paraplegic who fights for his right to die, displaced Carlos Saura’s “Ay, Carmela,” which won 13 trophies in 1990, as the most successful Goya winner ever. Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education” and Saura’s latest, “The Seventh Day” both left Sunday’s event empty-handed.
Amenabar picked up four honors, as executive producer, director, screenwriter and composer, and Spain’s most successful movie of the year won all of the acting categories, including Bardem, and co-star Lola Duenas, who beat out Penelope Cruz for the best actress nod.
“The Sea Inside” had already picked up best director and actor awards in the European Film Awards, best actor and the Jury Grand Prix in the Venice Film Festival and a Golden Globe. It is also competing for a foreign-language Oscar.
Only two other films managed to score more than one statuttee. Miguel Courtois’ thriller “Lobo,” a real-life tale of an undercover agent who infiltrates the terrorist organization ETA, took home two craft awards, while Fernando Trueba’s documentary “El Milagro de Candeal” won for best documentary and best song for the song that shared the film’s name.