Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's "Amour." (Photo by Darius Khondji…)
"Amour" won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film on Sunday night.
Austria's "Amour" has been an art-house awards powerhouse since winning the top prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Director Michael Haneke won the Golden Globe for his previous film, "The White Ribbon," and "Amour" recently racked up an impressive five Oscar nominations as well. With strong performances by Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the film is a deeply felt, harrowing examination of an aging couple facing the end of life.
The award was presented by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who joked that they were both tapped for the duties because English was their second language. Haneke quipped that he never thought he'd get an award in Hollywood from a fellow Austrian, referring to the former California governor and action movie star.
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"Amour" beat out two French films -- "Rust and Bone" and "The Intouchables" -- plus Denmark's "A Royal Affair" and the Norweigian film "Kon-Tiki."
"Rust and Bone," directed by Jacques Audiard, is a powerful modern melodrama starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts as two lost souls who find solace in each other, mending their broken selves together. Highly touted throughout the year on the international festival circuit, the film has nevertheless fizzled at the U.S. box office. Cotillard was nominated for the actress in a drama prize and though her performance had been considered by some as possibly Oscar-worthy as well, she did not earn a nomination there.
"The Intouchables," directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, has been an international box-office sensation, taking in more than $420 million worldwide, including an impressive $13 million in the U.S. alone. Based on a true story, the is a heartfelt comedic drama about a young man from the rough suburbs outside Paris who gets a job as a caregiver for a wheelchair-bound aristocrat. The film features a genuine star-making turn by the actor Omar Sy. The film was France's submission to the Academy Awards but failed to gain a nomination in the category there.
"A Royal Affair," directed by Nikolaj Arcel, is a politically charged romantic drama set against the Danish royal court of King Christian VII. In its exploration of a love triangle among the king, the queen and the royal physician, the film stars Mikkel Folsgaard, Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelsen. Winner of two prizes when it premiered at last year's Berlin International Film Festival, the film is also an Academy Award nominee.
"Kon-Tiki," directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, is a dramatic adventure film depicting Thor Heyerdahl's voyage across the Pacific in 1947. The most expensive film ever made in Norway, with a budget of $16 million, the film was a box-office hit at home and will be released in the U.S. later this year. It is also a nominee for the Academy Award.
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