Amour Emmanuelle Riva
Credit: Darius Khondji

Name: Amour

Release date: Dec. 19, 2012 (US limited)

DVD release date: Unknown

Run time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Box office: Domestic — $3.09 million, Foreign — $13.1 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93 percent

Amour movie math: (Love and Other Drugs + The first scene of Up!) x The Diving Bell and the Butterfly + (Million Dollar Baby – all the boxing.)

Tweetable description: Love means never having to say I’m sorry you have to change my diaper. (And there is a pigeon.)

What Owen said: “It’s an intensely clear-eyed and tender, at times almost voyeuristically intimate, look at what happens to an aging, agreeably married couple when one of them begins to slip away. After a trip to the doctor, Anne gets an operation for a blocked carotid artery, but the procedure doesn’t work, and her condition grows steadily worse. She suffers a stroke and becomes paralyzed on her right side, her hand curled into a gnarled fist. Yet even after that episode from the opening of the film, her mind is mostly still there. And what she wants, what she needs, is to die.”

Number of Oscar nods: 5 — Along with Best Picture, the movie’s nominations include Best Actress for Emmanuelle Riva, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Michael Haneke, and Best Foreign Language Film (Austria).

Amour‘s Oscar history: Amour’s players are Oscar virgins — these are the first nominations for Haneke, Riva and the three other producers.

What it has won thus far: Haneke’s film has collected the 2012 Cannes Palme D’Or, two BAFTA awards — Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Actress, Emmanuelle Riva — and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, along with a myriad of critics awards.

Why it should win: It’s the quietest, most contemplative of the nominees — and the most humanly realistic. Yes, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are based on true stories, but a majority of us won’t be hunting down terrorists or captured by them. Amour beautifully deals in the small, real-life tragedies that could befall anyone.

Why it shouldn’t win: Because of its grounding in a mundane reality, and its often glacial place, Amour can’t compete with the historic fanfare of Lincoln or the excitement of Argo. And besides, no foreign language film has ever won Best Picture — The Godfather Part II, The Last Emperor, and Slumdog Millionaire were all filmed at least partly in English, and The Artist, although a French movie, was silent. Look for it to take home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film as consolation.

Vegas Odds: 100/1

Best line: When Georges complains to the wheelchair-ridden Anne about having to attend his friend’s funeral she chastises him. “What will you say if no one comes to your funeral?” “Nothing, probably,” he replies.

Worst line: Honestly, nothing sounds bad in French — not even the Forrest Gump-esque “Tidy is as tidy does.”

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