'Amour' joins 13 others to have transitioned from the Croisette to Oscar's spotlight
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"The Piano" (Jane Campion, 1993, New Zealand)
Share the Palme d'Or, earn a Best Picture Oscar nod? Not quite, though it's a curiously recurrent occurrence. New Zealand writer-director Jane Campion became the first (and remains the only) woman to win Cannes's top award with this richly symbolic erotic drama, sharing the honor with "Farewell My Concubine," Chen Kaige's lavish melodrama set against half a century of Chinese political upheaval. Holly Hunter also took Best Actress on the Croisette for her role as a deaf-mute Scottish pianist sold into marriage Down Under. It's heady, sensual material -- not an especially surprising choice for Louis Malle-headed Cannes jury, but a bold pick for Oscar. Boosted by Harvey Weinstein, Campion's film earned eight nominations in one of the Academy's best-ever fields; it stood no chance against "Schindler's List" for Best Picture, but took an impressive trio of awards, with Hunter repeating her Cannes triumph and Campion winning for her original screenplay. ("Concubine," meanwhile, found itself nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Cinematography, losing both.)