Pedro Almodovar's movie "Volver" has numbers on its side, but it faces stiff competition from the story of a dashing 17th-century swordsman, a phantasmagorical tale set during the Spanish Civil War and a political thriller in the key categories at Spain's Goya Awards to be announced Sunday.
"Volver," the story of a family of Spanish women living in pain, chaos and trauma, racked up an impressive 14 nominations at Spanish cinema's equivalent of the Oscars.
It is competing for best film, best director and best actress but it's only a clear favorite in best female lead category, where Penelope Cruz has a clear edge, having already collected other honors for her performance, including a best-actress Oscar nomination.
"Volver" failed to be nominated for top honors at the Oscars this week.
The best film and best director categories are a tough call.
Competing with "Volver" for best picture are box-office success "Alatriste," the story of an heroic 17th century soldier-turned-mercenary by Agustin Diaz-Yanes; "Salvador", a political thriller directed by Spanish director Manuel Huerga; and "Pan's Labyrinth", a gothic fairy tale about a girl's dark fantasy life in fascist Spain by Mexican Guillermo del Toro.
Del Toro's film has grabbed 6 nominations for the Oscars, including in the categories of foreign-language film and original screenplay.
The four directors, Almodovar, Diaz-Yanes, Del Toro and Huerga are also contending for best director.
There are a total of 28 categories in the Goyas, including first-time director, actor, actress and foreign movie. The awards are handed out at a glittering ceremony held at a convention center in Madrid on Sunday night.
Best actor nominations include Viggo Mortensen for "Alatriste", Sergi Lopez for "Pan's Labryinth" and Daniel Bruhl for "Salvador."
The best actress category includes Cruz for "Volver" and Maribel Verdu for "Pan's Labyrinth."
In the category of best Latin American movie are Juan Carlos Valdivia's "American Visa," from Bolivia; Matias Bize's "En la cama," from Chile; Alejandro Doria's "Las manos," from Argentina; and Rodrigo Triana's "Sonar no cuesta nada," from Colombia.
Best European film nominations are Stephen Frears' "The Queen," Abnieszka Holland's "Copying Beethoven" and Woody Allen's "Scoop" from the United Kingdom; and Ken Loach's "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," a Spanish, German, Irish, Italian and British co-production.
For best artistic direction Benjamin Fernandez has been nominated for "Alatriste," Barbara Perez Solero and Maria Stilde Ambruzzi for "Los Borgia," Eugenio Caballero for "El laberinto del Fauno" and Salvador Parra for "Volver."
Last year Alejandro Amenabar's "The Sea Inside," swept the Goya Awards, taking 14 prizes.