Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts has gone this year to Amour director Michael Haneke. The two-time Palme d’Or winner was given a $65,000 prize to go with the honor. The jury hailed his “constantly evolving” filmography and praised his “dazzling mastery” that employs “radical sincerity, keen observation and extreme subtlety” for an “original and highly personal approach to fundamental issues that concern and affect us both individually and collectively.” Established in 1980, the Prince of Asturias awards honor an individual or institution whose work “constitutes a significant contribution to mankind’s culture heritage.” Pedro Almodovar is a previous recipient.
BBC’s Cup Runneth Over With Record-Breaking ‘You Will Be My Son’ Moviegoers who went to see Gilles Legrand’s You Will Be My Son during its first week of UK and Ireland release in December were given a free glass of wine as a means to entice folks during a week that also saw the bow of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie ultimately stayed in theaters for a record-breaking six months, and indie distributor Swipe said today that it’s been acquired by the BBC for TV broadcast. The French wine film is set in St. Emilion and stars Niels Arestrup as a vintner who plots to disown his own son and pass the … Read More »
The European Union and the U.S. are expected to begin discussions later this year that could result in the removal of trade barriers between the world’s two biggest economies by October 2014. But, in an uproar reminiscent of the tensions surrounding the 1993 GATT talks, European filmmakers are up in arms over a perceived threat to their “cultural exception.”
Last month, the European Commission adopted a draft negotiation mandate that includes the audiovisual and film industries in the proposed talks with the U.S. Their inclusion, which goes against the cultural exception’s raison d’être of treating cultural goods and services differently than others, led dozens of filmmakers last week to sign a petition entitled “The Cultural Exception Is Non-Negotiable!” Signatories include Michael Haneke, Michel Hazanavicius, Pedro Almodovar, Stephen Frears, Roger Michell, Costa Gavras, Paolo Sorrentino, Thomas Vinterberg and Cristian Mungiu as well as non-European directors Walter Salles, Jane Campion and David Lynch.
The cultural exception has its roots in 1993 when a furor erupted as Hollywood, notably led by late MPAA chief Jack Valenti, wanted to include the audiovisual industries in the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) negotiations. Europe, led by France, balked. Member states claimed that including the arts would threaten their quota and subsidy systems and put them in danger of total Hollywood hegemony. Hours from the deadline, a deal was struck and Europe got its way. Read More »
Considered by many a foregone conclusion coming into tonight, the Academy showed its love for Michael Haneke’sAmour with the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The film was nominated in five categories total, including the rare double bill of a Best Picture and a Best Foreign Language nod (only the fifth film in history to achieve such a feat). Lead actress Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 today, was the oldest woman ever to be nominated in the category and would have made further history had she won tonight. Earlier this season, she won the César, the BAFTA and several critics group prizes.
Amour‘s heartrending love story about an aging couple had already won scores of awards before this evening, beginning with the Cannes Palme d’Or when it debuted on the Riviera last May — supporting Haneke in the audience tonight and seated next to Amour producer Margaret Ménégoz was Cannes Film Festival honcho Thierry Frémaux. (Had Amour won Best Picture, it would have been the first film to earn that honor and Cannes’ top prize since 1955′s Marty.) After Cannes, the pic went on to take Best Picture honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the European Film Awards and France’s Césars plus Foreign Language props from the Broadcast Film Critics, the New York Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Indie Spirits, among many others. Read More »
Oscar pedigree: He has two nominations this year for screenwriting and direction. Previously, 2009’s The White Ribbon received two noms for best foreign language film and cinematography.
Birds and death: “The pigeon. You can’t direct a pigeon. At most, you can entice it to move it a certain way by placing corn on the ground. But even then, it won’t obey your instructions. Of course I’m joking when I say that. The most difficult scene in the film is the one in which (Georges) suffocates (his wife). The scene is preceded by a 10-minute monologue. And Jean-Louis Trintignant had a broken wrist at that time, so we had to shoot around that. And Emmanuelle Riva was concerned about her safety physically. So it was difficult for everyone involved”, says the Amourdirector.
No shame: When directing Emmanuelle Riva’s nude shower scene in which she is assisted by a healthcare worker, Haneke explains: “As a director, it wasn’t difficult for me. It was far more uncomfortable for her. But it was clear from the beginning that it was necessary to shoot this scene—to capture the fragility of her situation. My job as a director was to make sure I didn’t betray her, that she wasn’t shown critically or depicted in an unpleasant light, but just to show what people in such situations have to go through”.—David Mermelstein
Though his films might lead you to believe otherwise, Michael Haneke is surprisingly good-humored in conversation. His latest film, Amour, is nominated for five Oscars: best picture, foreign-language film, director, original screenplay, and actress. It soberly and precisely charts the decline of an aged French couple, played to a fare-thee-well by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. The film might be the writer-director’s most personal to date, for though it retains the intense focus and absence of sentimentality present in his other work, its plainly expressed—and inevitably touching—humanity was inspired by a chapter from Haneke’s own life. Until Amour, Haneke was best known in America for the Oscar-nominated The White Ribbon (2009), which chillingly depicts village life in pre-World War I Germany and hints at the foundations of Nazism, and Cache (2005), which plumbs issues of memory, guilt, and identity. Speaking from Madrid, during rehearsals for a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, the filmmaker discussed with AwardsLine various issues connected with his recent film work.
AwardsLine:What compelled you to make Amour? Michael Haneke: Nothing forced me [to make the film], but what motivated me was a case in my family. I was forced to look on as someone very close to me suffered—but not specifically as depicted in the film—someone for whom I cared for very much. And that led me to make … Read More »
Only once has the winner of the top prize in Cannes ever matched the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture. 1955′sMarty won both, but no film has been able to duplicate that feat in the more than a half-century since. But now Michael Haneke‘s Amour, nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture and also winner of the 2012 Cannes Festival’s Palme d’Or, has the chance to do it. However it’s a clear long shot, this year’s Oscar wild card.
No foreign-language film has ever won Oscar’s top prize, although several have been nominated such as Cries And Whispers,Il Postino and others. A handful, only four before Amour, have been nominated in both the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture categories. Z (1969), Life Is Beautiful (1998), and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) all won in Foreign Language Film but lost Best Picture. The Swedish film, The Emigrants had the distinction of nominations in both categories over the course of two years when Academy rules for foreign language films eligibility in other categories was different. It lost both Foreign Language Film in 1971 and Best Picture in 1972.
Michael Haneke’s Amour proved to be the favorite tonight at the London Film Critics Circle Awards, bagging wins for Best Film and Best Screenwriter for Haneke and earning Emmanuelle Riva a Best Actress prize. The org’s annual chance to fraternize with film stars may have been mildly hampered by snowy conditions in the capital, as none of team Amour made it to collect and there were no-shows also from The Master pair Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. The staunch critics favorites had seven nominations apiece. Rafe Spall collected Ang Lee’s Best Director prize for Life of Pi, and Les Misérables producer Debra Hayward accepted Best Supporting Actress on behalf of Anne Hathaway. Toby Jones took home Best British Actor for Berberian Sound Studio, which also won Best British Film, and Olivia Colman was on hand to accept Andrea Riseborough’s Best British Actress prize for Shadow Dancer. Rectifying a key oversight in the BAFTA’s Rising Star nominations, tonight’s awards did honor The Impossible‘s Tom Holland for Young British Performer of the Year, and Alice Lowe and Steve Oram were named Breakthrough British Filmmakers for their script work on Sightseers, in which they also starred. A complete list of winners follows: Read More »
The 25th European Film Awards were held this evening in Malta with Michael Haneke’s Amour taking the best picture, director, actor and actress honors. Going in, the Cannes Palme d’Or winner led the nominations with six nods. The categories it did not win were screenwriting, which went to Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg for The Hunt, and cinematography which was scooped by Sean Bobbitt for Shame. Helen Mirren and Bernardo Bertolucci were also on hand to receive the European Achievement in World Cinema and the Lifetime Achievement awards, respectively. Apart from the prizes, the lively ceremony included a marriage proposal, a liberal use of the f-word and a video comparing Hollywood movies to junk food. The EFAs are the European equivalent of the Oscar, “Or, as they call them in America, ‘The What?’,” host Anke Engelke quipped. The awards are handed out by the European Film Academy and honor only films hailing from Europe. Below is a full list of winners:
EUROPEAN FILM Amour, dir Michael Haneke (Austria/France/Germany)
Michael Haneke for Amour
Emmanuelle Riva in Amour
Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour
Tobias Lindholm & Thomas Vinterberg for The Hunt Read More »
Michael Haneke’s Amour took the Palme d’Or this year at Cannes and went on to screen at Toronto, New York and Telluride. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play an elderly couple still very much in love who confront their declining health — particularly the wife’s. The European Film Awards nominee and potential Oscar contender opens December 19th via Sony Pictures Classics:
It’s all over now, and really all over at Cannes for the American contingent of five competition entries plus English-language films like Walter Salles’ On The Road and David Cronenberg’s not-well-received Robert Pattinson starrer Cosmopolis. The Cannes Jury led by italian actor-director Nanni Moretti has spoken and Americans hoping for a repeat of last year when the single U.S. entry, The Tree Of Life actually won the Palme d’Or, are crying in their french onion soup. At the post-awards press conference American jury member Alexander Payne was asked if he thought the ‘Americannes’ snub said anything about the overall quality of the country’s movies. He snapped back that one festival does not speak for the state of cinema in any one country.
The closest thing to a film American audiences won’t need subtitles for is Ken Loach’s wonderful The Angels’ Sharewhich is set in Glasgow and features accents so thick the filmmaker decided to add English subtitles. It is also the only comedy to take a prize as the jury mainly favored some of the more dour, serious-minded films in the race. Cannes juries often do that. Backstage Loach was elegant when he said his film shows solidarity with all those in Europe who resist austerity and believe “another world, a better world is possible”.
There’s also one head-scratcher just about every year and this year it’s a beheaded scratcher, Post Tenebras Lux from Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas in which a man rather remarkably manages to twist off his head using only his hands. There’s also a pointless orgy scene thrown in but even its defenders are hard-pressed to say what this film is about. So of course they gave him a major prize, Best Director. At the press conference at least two of the jurors strongly defended the film. They were so convincing they had me believing that I must have seen a different film. Read More »
Despite reports to the contrary Harvey Weinstein told me he doesn’t believe the Australian musical The Sapphires is going to become another The Artist. Weinstein claims he was taken out of context in a Los Angeles newspaper report after the out-of-competition film premiered to an enthusiastic response and prolonged ovation (they all are in Cannes) at its official premiere Saturday night. He was quoted as saying “Have you seen ‘The Sapphires‘? The Artist just happened again”. At tonight’s party and concert for the film at the JW Marriott that followed a special screening, Weinstein told me he does not think the feel-good movie, a sort of Aboriginal Dreamgirls, is necessarily another Oscar contender for the company. He calls it an entertaining comedy-musical he hopes will draw good word of mouth and turn out to be a sleeper hit. He says the report was misleading and claims to have no Oscar ambitions anywhere near the level of The Artist, which (like Sapphires) was picked up right as Cannes kicked off and went on to win 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor.
Weinstein has been on a roll so far, picking up several titles, although he says some of those deals were done before the fest opened and announced during the Cannes window (other titles revealed on Deadline include Quartet, Haute Cuisineand the Libyan doc, The Oath Of Tobruk). He and Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser told me unequivocally that they are not planning on buying anything else at this year’s Cannes. Weinstein is very excited though about his 2012 and beyond slate, and at a Majestic Hotel cocktail party tomorrow night will unveil first-look footage for the press from some highly anticipated films for which he does have high Oscar (and boxoffice of course) hopes including The Master, The Silver Linings Playbook and the Quentin Tarantino western Django Unchained. Read More »
NEW YORK (April 17, 2012) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Michael Haneke’s latest film AMOUR from Films Du Losange. Written and Directed by Haneke, AMOUR stars Jean-Louis Trintignant (Z, THE CONFORMIST), Emmanuelle Riva (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR), and Isabelle Huppert (THE PIANO TEACHER, 8 WOMEN). Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, and Margaret Ménégoz produced the film with Austrian co-producer Michael Katz.
In the film, Georges (Trintignant) and Anne (Riva) are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter (Huppert), who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.
AMOUR will mark the third film between Haneke and Sony Pictures Classics. The previous titles include CACHÉ and 2009 Palme d’Or winner THE WHITE RIBBON.