Cheers to Javier Bardem for having last night won the Best Actor Goya award for his performance in Biutiful. The Spanish Oscars were held last night in Madrid. Another gust of wind for the Biutiful sails.

No one will take the Best Actor Oscar from Colin Firth, of course, but if anyone could…

A week and a half ago I did a brief phoner from my Santa Barbara Film Festival hotel room with Biutiful director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. He was on a speaker and so was I, and when I played it back it was all but indecipherable. It was like we talking into tin cans connected by a piece of string. So I kind of went cold on writing it up.

We talked about Biutiful‘s nomination as one of the five foreign-language nominees, and it being an official submission from Mexico, and the fact that Mexico has never won despite being nominated eight times. And how Videocine, the Mexican distributor, is planning a re-release of 150 prints on 2.25, and how a re-release of this type has never been done before in Mexico.

This led to a discussion about what a battleground Mexico has become over the last couple of years and is pretty much what Columbia was in the ’80s and ’90s. “Worse than Columbia,” Inarritu said. There’s some kind of film in it, I said. Perhaps a blend of Brian DePalma‘s Scarface and Fernando MeirellesCity of God.

Last night’s big Goya winner was Augusti Villaronga‘s Pa Negre (Black Bread), a family drama in post-Civil War Spain. It won nine trophies.