The Goyas

Last night, Tom and I attended the Goya Awards in Madrid – the Spanish Baftas and a brilliant example of the cultural differences within Europe.

Both are show piece nights of their respective film years. Both are on TV. Both are staged on a Sunday night – before another busy week ahead. And here the similarity ends. The Baftas record for a couple of hours and begin at 7pm and are then broadcast as an edited 90 minutes for the TV audience at home – staring at 9pm.

The entire Goya Awards Ceremony is broadcast live on Spanish TV. Last evening, it ran for 3 hours and 10 minutes. And it began at 10pm.

Needless to say that it was a tough watch for the two English people in the audience. With our Spanish only stretching to hello, thank you and beer – it was a long evening, thankfully punctuated by a raft of awards for The Impossible; best director, effects, sounds, editing and production.

It was a black tie event. Tom had a brown suit on but at least he had a tie which some wags on twitter pointed out that I was without. Apologies Spain, no offense intended.

Sunday morning began with our first ever car boot sale (recession?) and a 6am start – straight to the airport and so exhausted, neither of us packed very well. And as the event got in to the third hour, I was flagging and becoming increasingly irate.

Would the Germans hold a ceremony on a Sunday night beyond 1am in the morning? The Beethovens or the Mozarts – (Mozart was Austrian, I know, but there is a precedent for Austrians becoming famous Germans)  No of course they would not. The ruthlessly efficient Germans would have doled out their gongs by 10pm sharp with everyone in bed by midnight ready for the week ahead.

And chatting with Spaniards yesterday, only one thing was really discussed, even above their film or their chance of winning – and this was the state of their economy, such was their anxiety.

Now I am no business guru – but I am a reasonably successful dad – and so I say to the entire population of Spain…

Get to bloody bed. NOW!


But to end on a high note. Late as it was and tiring as our early flight was this morning, last night marked the very end of journey called The Impossible – an extraordinary event in the life of my son, Tom and my whole family…

And although Tom did not win his category – it was still great to be there and a fitting end for Tom to see JA Bayona win best director and to share a little time with some of his Spanish friends. And on behalf of the Holland family to all the lovely Spanish people that we have met – our thanks.

And finally, I will say this only one more time…


6 thoughts on “The Goyas

  1. arturo says:

    This is Spain… a country where a film torturing bulls can win the award for the best movie.
    Moreover, Tom deserved his award….but again, this is Spain.
    Looking forward to seeing new Tom’s projects.
    Best regards from a Spanish guy that also try to avoid ties.

  2. Rebeca says:

    Hi Dom,

    I am a Spanish teacher and actress, who is taking advantage of this confinement to learn English. They advised me to read blogs and news, to improve my English, and I found yours. I have read your entire blog. I do not know if when I finish quarantine I will pass my English exam. But what I do know is that I am loving meeting you.
    Do not stop writing this blog, it is wonderful.
    Thank you so much!

      • Rebeca says:

        Thank you very much for answering me. You do not know the illusion that it has made me. Happy birthday, I know it was yesterday. And thanks once again for being my English teacher

      • Rebeca says:

        Thank you very much for answering me. You do not know the illusion that it has made me. Happy birthday, I know it was yesterday. And thanks once again for being my English teacher. Gracias Dom

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