Director Michael Haneke's acclaimed drama Amour has been given a big Oscar boost after picking up the Film of the Year prize at the 33rd London Critics' Circle Film (Lcff) Awards.
The film, which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director earlier this month (Jan13), beat out The Master to claim the coveted trophy at a gala held at London's Mayfair Hotel on Sunday night (20Jan13).
Haneke also picked up a screenplay award and his leading lady, French actress Emmanuelle Riva, was named Best Actress.
The filmmaker lost out to Life of Pi's Ang Lee in the Best Director category.
The Master was a double winner at the Lccf Awards - co-stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman picked up the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor honours respectively. Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a singing prostitute in Les Miserables and Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone claimed the Best Foreign Language Film.
Other winners included The Imposter (Best Documentary), Berberian Sound Studio (Best British Film), Toby Jones (British Actor of the Year), Andrea Riseborough (British Actress of the Year) and The Impossible's Tom Holland (Young British Performer of the Year).
Meanwhile, the Lccf's top 10 films of 2012 were Amour, The Master, Life of Pi, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Django Unchained, Tabu and Rust and Bone.
Their highest honour, the Dilys Powell award for excellence in film, was presented to actress Helena Bonham Carter by director Mike Newell.