Considered by many a foregone conclusion coming into tonight, the Academy showed its love for Michael Haneke’s Amour with the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The film was nominated in five categories total, including the rare double bill of a Best Picture and a Best Foreign Language nod (only the fifth film in history to achieve such a feat). Lead actress Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 today, was the oldest woman ever to be nominated in the category and would have made further history had she won tonight. Earlier this season, she won the César, the BAFTA and several critics group prizes.
Amour‘s heartrending love story about an aging couple had already won scores of awards before this evening, beginning with the Cannes Palme d’Or when it debuted on the Riviera last May — supporting Haneke in the audience tonight and seated next to Amour producer Margaret Ménégoz was Cannes Film Festival honcho Thierry Frémaux. (Had Amour won Best Picture, it would have been the first film to earn that honor and Cannes’ top prize since 1955’s Marty.) After Cannes, the pic went on to take Best Picture honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the European Film Awards and France’s Césars plus Foreign Language props from the Broadcast Film Critics, the New York Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Indie Spirits, among many others. (more…)