Three years after The White Ribbon won the Palme d'or in Cannes and was then nominated in two categories at the Oscars, Michael Haneke’s Love is Austria's pick for foreign Oscar contention.
Bénédicte Prot

7 Sep 2012 - 8:01 AM  UPDATED 7 Sep 2012 - 8:01 AM

Three years after The White Ribbon, which won the Palme d'or in Cannes in 2009 and was then nominated in two categories at the Oscars, Michael Haneke's Amour (Love) now follows in the footsteps of its superb predecessor. After winning the Palme d'or at the last Cannes Film Festival, it is now to represent Austria in the race for a nomination for the Oscar for best film in a foreign language (although it was shot in French).

In Amour, the cruelty omnipresent throughout Haneke's filmography is only that of life, that comes then goes difficultly, forcing old lovers to see themselves so feeble and diminished that they wish for the end. The charming couple of Parisian retirees that we do not leave throughout the film are played by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva with tenderness and dignity that deeply moved everybody in Cannes and has convinced the Austrian selection committee for the Oscars: “Thanks to two extraordinary actors, Haneke [tells] the desperate love story of a couple who have become old [in a film] without any compromise that is both dreadful and moving.”

Amour's selection seems auspicious. Immediately after the statement yesterday, the film was awarded the FIPRESCI Grand Prize for Best Film of the Year 2012, which makes Michael Haneke the only director along with Pedro Almodóvar and Paul Thomas Anderson to have ever received it twice. (He also was awarded it in 2009 for The White Ribbon.)

Nominations for the Oscars are to be announced on January 15. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony is to be held on February 23. In Austria, Amour should be out in cinemas on September 21, distributed by Filmladen. [Editor's Note: Amour is being released in Australia in February 2013, through Transmission Films]

Translated from French

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