The nominations will be announced in January.
The shortlist for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film has been slimmed down to just nine films, with the final nominations set to be revealed early next year. The most prominent movies on the list include Russia's Leviathan, an anti-Putin movie directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, and Ida, from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski.
Amour was a famous winner of the award two years ago
The latter, about a nun who discovers she is Jewish, beat Leviathan to win best film at the European film awards earlier this month. Both have also been nominated in the same category for the Golden Globes and things are increasingly looking like a two-horse race for the Oscars.
Continue reading: Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film Will Go To One of These Movies
Hejer Anane, Michael Haneke and Cynthia Hajjar - The Consul General Of France, Mr. Axel Cruau, Honours The French Nominees for the 85th Annual Academy Awards - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Monday 25th February 2013
Few could have been expecting Amour, directed by Michael Haneke, to be in the running for five Oscar awards before the shortlists were announced last month, but that’s exactly where the film finds itself with less than a week to go until the biggest awards ceremony of the film calendar.
Talking to Reuters, the director revealed his inspiration for the film, and admitted his surprise that a film with such a non-Hollywood ending was up for nods in so many categories, including the coveted best picture. "It's no walk in the park, but it's difficult and serious, and that makes it contemplative," Haneke said of the film’s ending and themes, which surround an elderly Parisian couple’s physical and mental challenges as they arrive at life’s end.
Haneke also revealed that the inspiration for the film came from somewhere close to home – an elderly aunt who was gravely ill and asked him to help her commit suicide. “I loved her very much and to watch her suffer was very difficult, but I certainly couldn't help her (kill herself) because I'd be thrown in jail," the director said. "Personally, I don't believe I could've done it anyway."
Continue reading: Amour Inspired By Death-Desiring Elderly Aunt, Says Michael Haneke
Despite being 85-years-old, it is not the flashbulbs and celebrity faces that French actress Emmanuelle Riva fears most about her forthcoming trip to the Oscars. Riva - nominated for Best Actress for her sparkling turn in Michael Haneke's Amour - says the plane journey from Europe to Hollywood is making her feel nervous.
It's likely that Riva never expected to be buying a ticket to Los Angeles - her latest movie, about age, friendship and love, won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, though she was never considered for an Oscar before the nominations were announced. Speaking to The Wrap about hearing of her nod, Riva explained, "I found out in New York, I was there for the critics circle award. The 10th of January, early morning. My neighbors who help me when I travel shouted for joy. I was barely awake. They were screaming, 'You're nominated!' I stayed very calm. I got up and said, 'I'm not nominated.' Of course I was very happy." A couple of weeks back, the category of Best Actress at the Oscars was considered a two-horse race, between Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain. However, Riva won the same award at the BAFTAs on Sunday (February 10, 2013), adding an air of intrigue to the result on February 24, 2013. On how she plans to go about her business at the Academy Awards, Riva said, "I am very calm in the face of all of this. I am 85 years old. I am not going to flop about like a fish. What makes me nervous is these hours on the plane. Frankly, it seems like a hell of a journey to me. It's so long. But I will do things to the end. I will fall in someone's arms if I need to."
Previously, Riva was best known for her role in the 1959 French New Wave classic 'Hiroshima Mon Amour,' directed Alain Resnais. In 'Amour,' she plays a wife losing her physical and intellectual grasp on life.
Michael Haneke’s Amour was something of an outsider’s choice until this year’s Oscars nominations were announced. The movie has been nominated for Best Picture, Directing (Haneke), Foreign Language Film, Writing (Original Screenplay) and Actress in a Leading Role, for Emmanuelle Riva, who – at the age of 85 – is the oldest woman to have been nominated in the category and faces competition from Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest, at the age of nine.
The movie tells the tale of an octogenarian couple – both retired music teachers and of Georges’ (Jean-Louis Trintignant) struggle to care for Anne as her body begins to falter and shut down after a series of strokes. The trailer only gives a glimpse into the story; a sense of a family troubled, but no questions are answered. There is as much silence as there is speech in the trailer; a poignant moment as Anne sits at the piano, a beautiful piece of music plays in the background, yet, as the camera pans over to Georges, he reaches behind him and switches the music off; Anne is no longer capable of playing the piano as she once could. The role of the couple’s exasperated daughter, Eva, is played by Isabelle Huppert.
Amour, in addition to its clutch of Oscar nominations (many are hailing Amour as this year’s The Artist), the movie also won the highly coveted Palme D’Or prize at last year’s Cannes film festival.
Continue reading: New Trailer For Five Times Oscar-Nominated Amour (Video)
Anne and Georges are a devoted, elderly couple who both used to be music teachers. One day, Anne has a stroke which leaves her partially paralysed and unable to look after herself. Georges, being old and not up to strength himself, does his best to take care of her but is placed under considerable strain given the amount of attention she needs and the fact that she isn't always compliant with him. However, he maintains his promise to her that he will not send her to a nursing home to be cared for. Their daughter Eva lives abroad and also has a career in music but tries to convince her father to let someone else care for her despite his promise. Just how far will this couple's love take them, and will their partnership survive?
Since its release in November 2012, this powerfully moving French drama has garnered much praise with five Oscar nominations and four BAFTA nominations. Director and writer Michael Haneke ('The White Ribbon', 'The Piano Teacher') also won the Palme d'Or award on its release at the Cannes Film Festival but, most recently, the movie bagged the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Golden Globes in January 2013.
Director: Michael Haneke
Continue: Amour Trailer
The big movie news this week, of course, was the announcement of this year's Oscar nominations, to which people reacted with the usual levels of surprise and anger. The biggest snub seems to be for previous winner Kathryn Bigelow, who was overlooked for a directing nomination even though her film Zero Dark Thirty earned five other nods, including Best Picture.
Despite Amour's Oscar nomination for Best Picture, it would be folly to suggest Michael Haneke's stark Austrian movie is finally getting the attention it deserves. The French-language film - which depicts the day-to-day struggles of an elderly Parisian couple - was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes last year and was unanimously praised by critics upon its release.
Andrew O'Hehir at Salon.com wrote, "This is an unforgettable love story set at the close of day, as tragic and beautiful in its way as "Tristan und Isolde," and a portrait of the impossible beauty and fragility of life that will yield new experiences to every viewer and every viewing." Mary Corliss of Time Magazine suggested, "In the history of movies about love, Amour shall last forever." The movie seized five Oscar nominations on Thursday, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress for the 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva. In a statement, the star - best known for her role in the 1959 classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour- said, "I never thought, while working throughout the years in Europe and France, that one day, I would cross the Atlantic Ocean, come to the United States and be nominated. It is quite surreal for me."
Amour is the overwhelming favourite to win Best Foreign Language movie, though it should be seriously considered for the evening's top prize too. Pete Hammond, awards columnist for Deadline.com, explained how Haneke may be the one celebrating come February 24, 2013. He suggests Amour could walk away with Best Picture if early favourites Lincoln and Life of Pi split votes. "Amour...has a very passionate following among people. They feel very emotional about that film," he said.
He was the bookies favorite coming in to today, but Argo's Ben Affleck didn't even make the shortlist for the Best Director category as the Oscars nomination were revealed.
Just yesterday the Mirror had reported that it was to be a two horse race between Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow this year to take the much-coveted award. In the event though neither of them managed to make the final cut, the Academy panel of judges looking over them both in order to give a chance to the lesser favored Benh Zeitlin and Michael Hanneke for Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Amour respectively. Those two join the much more fancied Steven Spielberg, David O Russell and Ang Lee, the trio nominated for Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and The Life Of Pi respectively.
As awards season kicks off, today with the BAFTA nominations and tomorrow with the Golden Globe award ceremony, actors, actresses, directors and producers everywhere will be biting their nails and praying for a win from at least one of the big three coming up, the aforementioned two, of the Oscars, nominations for which will also be released tomorrow.
There are very few surprises in the BAFTA nominations as this year has some clear stand-out offerings to the trade, and as announced by Alice Eve and Jeremy Irvine, here's the low down on the biggest prizes.
Nominations for best film are the big five: Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Despite BAFTA being a British institution, there's not a British film in sight (except Les Mis, but the majority of leads aren't from the fair isle). Luckily, however, there's a whole separate award for Brits. In that list, the contenders are Anna Karenina, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (that was 2012? it seems so long ago), Les Miserables, Seven Psychopaths and a much deserved Skyfall.
A movie being good doesn't automatically make it enjoyable, and few films prove this to be more true than Michael Haneke's Amour.
Starring two French greats, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a wealthy Parisian couple, Anne and Georges, in the final few chapters of their life together, Amour explores the inelegant and painful aspects of love in old age. As Anne suffers multiple strokes resulting in her degeneration of her physical and mental abilities, this begins the heart breaking journey for Georges, watching his life long partner slowly die. There are very few, if any, ways in which this could be an uplifting movie, and it's not, however with a 91% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's undoubtedly very good.
Rolling Stone says that Riva and Trinignant "give performances of breathtaking power and beauty", but advise to "prepare for an emotional wipeout." The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "Magnificent" but also that it's 'a deliberately torturous watch" because the audience is forced to come "face to face with the nature of love in its most unromantic and weighty moments."
Continue reading: Michael Haneke's 'Amour' is an 'Emotional Wipeout'