Amour, the French-language drama directed by Michael Haneke, hits theaters in the U.S. this weekend on the back of critical acclaim and the coveted Palme d’Or. The movie, about an elderly man who cares for his wife after she suffers a stroke, is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.
Though the film is almost certain to win the Oscar, it’s likely that Haneke’s movie will get a nod in the Best Picture category too. Traditionally, Palme d’Or winners do not achieve huge success at the Academy Awards, though Armour represents one of the best reviewed pieces of work for 2012 and Haneke is popular with the voters. It holds a 91% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregating website, with Deborah Young of the Hollywood Reporter gushing, “Consummate acting helps ease a painful watch, as Michael Haneke describes the ultimate test of love in a profoundly honest study of sickness and dying.” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, “The title is French for love. The movie itself, indisputably the year's best foreign-language film and an Oscar front-runner, defines what love is. And it does it the hard way.” Though Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo and Les Miserables appear to be ahead in the race for the Best Picture Oscar, critics refrained from throwing the word ‘masterpiece’ about in reaction to any of the films. Numerous writers called Amour just that.
It currently sits at 25/1 to win the biggest prize of them all. It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.