Melancholia Dominates European Film Awards

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December 4, 2011 | 9:35am EST

Kirsten Dunst’s movie Melancholia dominated the European Film Awards on Saturday night, picking up the event’s top prize.
The movie, directed by controversial Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier, won the coveted title of Best European Film of 2011 at the ceremony in Berlin, Germany.

Von Trier vowed to shun public speaking after he was banned from the Cannes Film Festival in France over the summer or making comments about Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter, so he sent his wife, Bente Froge, to pick up the award on his behalf.

She told the audience, “I should say from Lars that he has no message for you since he has decided not to make statements any more and I really don’t know why. But he asked me that I should salute you in a very kind and friendly way.”

Melancholia also won prizes for Best Cinematographer and Production Designer, but Dunst missed out on the Best Actress award to Tilda Swinton, who triumphed for her role in We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Oscar-winning British film The King’s Speech was also a big winner, scooping three prizes including Best Actor for Colin Firth and the People’s Choice Award.

Silent film The Artist, which is tipped for Oscars glory next year, picked up the Best Composer prize for Ludovic Bource.