'Amour' joins 13 others to have transitioned from the Croisette to Oscar's spotlight
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"The Tree of Life" (Terrence Malick, 2011, United States)
Arriving in Cannes on a feverish wave of anticipation following a series of postponements, Terrence Malick's expansive, elegiac tone poem seemed almost too perfectly set up for a Palme d'Or victory, especially considering the strength of a Competition lineup that ran the gamut from "Melancholia" to "Anatolia." But the excited (and excitingly non-unanimous) chatter around the film was too loud for Robert De Niro's jury to ignore -- and the same ultimately went for the Academy. There had been uncertainty as to how warmly Oscar voters would embrace the reclusive auteur and his relatively avant-garde (at least by US prestige-film standards) film, but it evidently thrived on passion votes, earning three nominations and becoming the first Palme d'Or winner to benefit from the expansion of the Best Picture category. Already, it's not the last.