The National Society of Film Critics rewarded "Amour" with its top honor on Saturday, selecting the film as the year's Best Picture and also handing its director, Michael Haneke, top directing honors.
Haneke's film, set almost entirely in a French apartment, portrays an aging married couple as they adapt to the pressures and limitations of their senility. Critics awarded Emmannuelle Riva, who plays the ailing wife, with Best Actress honors.
Riva's counterpart in "Amour," Jean-Louis Trintignant, did not chart as one of the top vote getters for Best Actor. Instead, Daniel Day-Lewis took home the honor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's film about the United States' 16th president.
"Lincoln" fielded the runners-up in both supporting actor categories, where Matthew McConaughey of "Magic Mike" bested Tommy Lee Jones and Amy Adams of "The Master" surpassed Sally Field.
"Amour" has received high praise throughout the year and may be the one foreign language film to earn a Best Picture nomination.
Whether this recognition helps its chances of winning the prize is another matter. Since its founding in 1966, the NSFC has rarely agreed with the Academy on the year's best film. Only five times in the organization's 46-year history has its winner gone on to take the top Oscar: "Annie Hall" in 1977, "Unforgiven" in 1992, "Schindler's List" in 1993, "Million Dollar Baby" in 2004 and "The Hurt Locker" in 2009.
More typically, the NSFC chooses films like "Waltz With Bashir," "There Will Be Blood," "American Splendour," "Mulholland Drive" and "Breaking the Waves." Last year, it named Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" the year's best film. The movie was shut out at the Oscars.
More to come...