PARIS - Amour received a lot of love at the 18th annual Lumiere Awards here, with Michael Haneke’s drama being named best film and also taking home the acting awards.
The Oscar-nominated film was up against Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, Noemie Lvovsky’s Camille Rewinds, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, and Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell My Queen for the top film prize.
Amour also was a winner in the main acting categories, with Emmanuelle Riva taking home the best actress trophy, and Jean-Louis Trintignant being named best actor.
The unflinching look at marriage and aging has been picking up many honors this awards season on the road to the Oscars, where the French-language drama by the Austrian director is nominated both as best foreign film and best picture. Amour was awarded the Golden Globe for best foreign film earlier this month, and it also received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
The Lumiere Awards are often compared to the Golden Globes as they are voted on by the foreign press here. In a moment reminiscent of Christine Lahti’s infamous “I was in the bathroom” speech in 1998, the ceremony was stalled when Riva missed the announcement of her win when she was in the lounge chatting with friends. Trintignant was not at the ceremony, but sent a video message thanking the crowd.
Writer/director Audiard was recognized as best director for his work on Rust and Bone, the film festival favorite starring Marion Cotillard as an injured whale trainer. The screenplay also received the top nod in its category, with Audiard recognized along with co-writer Thoma Bidegain.
In a surprise move, Noémie Lvovsky was awarded a special jury prize for her work as the writer, director and star of Camille Rewinds, the self-reflective time travel tale of a 40-something actress who tries to change her past.
Judith Chemla, Julia Faure and India Hair shared the most promising actress award for their roles as her 1980s pals.
Ernst Umhauer was recognized for his turn as a sneaky schoolboy who causes trouble for a classmate’s family in In the House, receiving the most promising actor prize.
And Moussa Tourewon won the award for best French-language film outside of France for the Senegalse illegal immigration drama The Canoe.
The casual ceremony was held in the grand hall of Paris’ La Gaite Lyrique, with actors such as Riva mingling in the lounge during the awards.
The Lumiere Awards follow December’s Louis Delluc prize, which was given to Farewell My Queen for outstanding film. The prestigious Cesar Awards, which will be held on Feb. 22, are next on France's awards scheduled, with the nominations being announced next week.