"Amour" holds the unique position of being nominated in two Oscar best picture categories. A quick read of that statement might make one pass it by. But, it may need a little explanation.
But first, "Amour" has earned the top honor from the London Critics' Circle Film Awards. It also took home the screenplay and actress prizes. The awards were handed out tonight (Jan. 20) in London. Now, the film also finds itself nominated in the Oscar foreign film category, so that is one top prize it can take next month, right?
After all, Best Foreign Film is for the top film in that category. It also has the distinction of being in the overall best picture category. That is no easy task or it would happen more. That is like an animated film showing up in the same category. It can happen, but animation has its own category, so the chances have diminished. It also means "Amour" is already a winner, even if it gets nowhere come February. It is the favorite foreign film going into that category, but strange things have been known to happen.
Plus, the film's director, Michael Haneke is also up for Oscar, which means it is most likely in the top five. Since the Academy went to the possibility of 10 Best Picture nominees, the director category is one way to eliminate some.
However, the way things have been going, those two might split this year. That, too, doesn't happen that much, and "Amour" could benefit from the split votes. In London, Ang Lee took the director prize for "Life of Pi," which adds another twist. This may be a year when this may be heard after Oscar's top prize is announced - "Did the film direct itself?" There is a prevailing attitude that director and the top award need to be one in the same. By the way, the L.A. Film Critics, in Hollywood's home, also picked "Amour."
Film of the Year - "Amour"
Director of the Year - Ang Lee - "Life of Pi"
Actress of the Year - Emmanuelle Riva - "Amour"
Supporting Actress of the Year - Anne Hathaway - "Les Miserables"
Actor of the Year - Joaquin Phoenix - “The Master”
Supporting Actor of the Year - Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
The 33rd annual edition London Critics' Circle Film Awards took place May Fair Hotel. For a recap of the nominees, go here. Going in, "Amour" and "The Master" led the way with seven nominations apiece.