Another round of living legends vs. young ingeues
Isabelle Huppert, 'Amour"
Pro: French screen icon Huppert is surely one of the greatest living actors never to score an Oscar nod, despite a BAFTA, two Cannes Best Actress prizes and sundry other honors over her 40-year career. That's largely because she tends to choose demanding, abrasive projects that, even in English, would be hard sells to Academy types – her defining collaboration with Michael Haneke, “The Piano Teacher,” being a primary example. On the face of it, her supporting turn as a daughter struggling to maintain an emotional connection with her elderly parents in Haneke's latest critical sensation is a long shot for the same reasons – but with Sony planning a major campaign for the film in the top categories, a career-acknowledging nod is not inconceivable.
Con: Huppert does typically intelligent work in the film, but it's hardly a standout turn – either by her standards, or compared to the devastating work of Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in the leads. In deservedly making the veteran pair the story, few reviews have made much mention of Huppert – a foreign-language performance tend to need more critical oomph behind them to make the grade.
- Guy Lodge