Hollywood's movie elite sent their love to "Amour" on Thursday, giving director Michael Haneke's searing portrait of old age five Academy Award nominations including best foreign film and — unexpectedly — best picture.
The film stars octogenarian French acting greats Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a loving Parisian couple whose world is devastated by the wife's serious illness.
Unflinching, unsentimental and in French, it was a surprise inclusion among nine best-picture nominees, and also garnered nominations for Haneke's direction, original screenplay and the performance of 85-year-old Riva.
Riva said Haneke's talent for evoking reality onscreen was key to the success of "Amour."
"That's why it touched the world," she said. "We are all little, fragile people on this earth, sometimes nasty, sometimes generous."
Haneke gives few interviews and makes few concessions to industry hype. But the filmmaker said the nominations were "a joyous occasion."
"It is fulfilling to discover that a film has found the audience and critical acclaim that 'Amour' has garnered," he said in a statement.
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