'Amour' joins 13 others to have transitioned from the Croisette to Oscar's spotlight
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"The Lost Weekend" (Billy Wilder, 1946, United States)
Things worked a bit differently at the very first Cannes Film Festival in 1946. The festival took place in the fall, for starters, while the top prize -- not yet named the Palme d'Or -- was shared between 11 films. Those included David Lean's "Brief Encounter," which would nab Best Director and Actress Oscar nods the following year, and Robert Rossellini's neo-realist classic "Rome, Open City," while the only American film in the bunch was the one that had already won the Best Picture Oscar a few months before: Billy Wilder's "The Lost Weekend," a small-scale alcoholism drama that was seen as rather strong medicine in its time, though I'd venture it plays a tad more overwrought today than Wilder's best work. The film's star, Ray Milland, repeated his Oscar success to become the festival's first Best Actor winner. (At the Oscars, meanwhile, it defeated an eclectic lineup of "Anchors Aweigh," "The Bells of St. Mary's," "Mildred Pierce" and Hitchcock's "Spellbound.")