Europeans shower 'Amour' with love
The European Film Awards flounced into Valetta at the weekend and, to the surprise of nobody, handed all their choicest goodies to Michael Haneke’s Amour. The Palme d’Or winner took best film, best director and – for Emmanuel Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant – best actress and best actor. “It’s very pleasant. The respect of any viewer is important to me,” Haneke said at a press conference following the event.
Other honourees included the ever-lively Helen Mirren who picked up a “world achievement” award. In her speech, Mirren made cheeky reference to comments made by Jeanne Moreau when collecting a similar gong some years back. “Thank you for the great honour of recognising that I, too, am a fucking whore,” the unofficial Queen quipped.
Other films receiving recognition included Steve McQueen’s Shame, which took best cinematography, and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which won for music and production design. Our own Jim Sheridan was on hand to give cinematographer Sean Bobbit his statuette for Shame. In the course of the ceremony, Anke Engelke, the Geman host, joked that “some Americans” might refer to the awards as “the what”. The EFA do, however, provide European film with a welcome boost in the pre-Oscar season. It now looks possible – let’s go no further – that Amour might break out of the foreign-language cul-de-sac and into the main categories at the big awards. Ms Riva, in particular, should have a nice frock ready.