Every year, the Academy Awards (known as the Oscars) honors the best films of the previous year. The 2013 Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, were held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. The nominees were announced On January 10, 2013 by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. The ceremony took place on February 24, 2013 and honored several new talents as well as many established artists and workers in the industry. Among the categories the Academy awards every year, the Best Picture, as well as the Best Screenplays, both Original and Adapted. There is also a category for the best Foreign Language Film, providing the Academy with the opportunity to recognize international talent.
In the category of Best Foreign Language Film, the winner was the French language production Amour. The narrative focuses on an elderly married couple, Georges and Anne, who are both retired teachers. At the beginning of the film, a brigade of firemen break down the door of an apartment in Paris to find Anne lying dead, adorned with cut flowers. Several months earlier, Anne and Georges attend a performance by one of Anne’s former pupils. The next morning while they eat breakfast, Anne suffers a stroke; sitting in a catatonic state, she is unable to respond, only coming around just as Georges is about to get help. Georges thinks that Anne was playing a prank on him, but she is unable to pour herself a drink. The surgery she undergoes to correct a blocked artery goes wrong, leaving her paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Distraught, she makes Georges promise not to send her back to the hospital or into a nursing home. She later has another stroke and becomes even more incapacitated, incapable of coherent speech and with her personality changed. Georges begins employing a nurse, and the strain in their relationship increases gradually, in spite of Georges’ love. One day, he sits next to Anne’s bedside and tells a story of his childhood, before smothering her with a pillow. He returns home with bundles of flowers in his hands, which he proceeds to wash and cut; he then picks out a dress and writes a long letter, explaining that he has “released the pigeon.” He imagines that Anne is washing dishes in the kitchen and, speechless, he watches her clean up and prepare to leave. Anne calls for Georges to bring a coat, and he complies, following her through the door. The film concludes with a continuation of the opening scene, with the couples’ daughter, Eva, seated in the living room after wandering around the now-empty house.
The film has received almost universal acclaim. In addition to winning the Foreign Language Film category, Amour was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Actress, among other nominations. It also received the prestigious Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival where it debuted.
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