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.
Haneke's 2009 black-and-white movie The White Ribbon was a winner of both the Palme d'Or and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was controversially beaten to the Oscar by The Secret in Their Eyes.