'Amour' joins 13 others to have transitioned from the Croisette to Oscar's spotlight
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"Friendly Persuasion" (William Wyler, 1957, United States)
The Competition at Cannes in 1957 was a formidable one: among the contenders were such future arthouse standards as Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" (before the Swedish auteur decided competing in festivals was unseemly) and Fellini's "The Nights of Cabiria." However, the jury -- headed by French intellectuals Andre Maurois and Jean Cocteau -- preferred an American prestige drama rarely celebrated by critics today: William Wyler's "Friendly Persuasion," a thoughtful, deliberate, dramatically dense study of a pacifist Quaker family drawn into the Civil War. The film had already had its turn at the 1956 Oscars, where it lost all six of its nominations, including Best Picture -- its chances probably not helped by the Hollywood blacklisting of screenwriter Michael Wilson. (The Academy's top choice, in one of its least proud moments, was "Around the World in 80 Days.")