I know I'm way behind the curve in reporting on these, but the weeks before Christmas kept us so busy with wall-to-wall US critics' awards that certain things passed me by -- particularly awards away from the Oscar trail. This afternoon, I suddenly remembered the Prix Louis-Delluc, arguably the most prestigious award in French cinema, and wondered if I'd missed their nominations. As it turned out, I'd missed the entire thing.

The Louis-Delluc, a single award handed to the year's best French film -- as determined by a jury headed by Cannes president Gilles Jacob -- was first presented in 1937, and the list of previous winners is a veritable who's who of classic French cinema: Renoir, Cocteau, Truffaut, Bresson, Malle, Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard, and so on.

The award has a reputation for discerning, sometimes offbeat choices. (Last year, for example, they failed to nominate French audience favorite and current Oscar hopeful "The Intouchables.") They certainly followed their own path this year: while the nominees included such major auteur titles as "Amour," "Holy Motors," "Rust and Bone" and "Something in the Air," Jacob's jury opted for less of a consensus favorite: Benoit Jacquot's spare, elegant costume drama "Farewell My Queen," which opened the Berlinale in February. I rather liked it; many of my colleagues thought it unremarkable. Either way, it's a surprising choice.

Jacquot's film also did rather well in the nominations for France's Lumiere Awards, which are effectively the Golden Globes to the Cesars' Oscars. All five Best Film nominees were also mentioned on the Delluc list; "The Intouchables" doesn't feature, having been nominated last year, where it lost to the all-consuming "The Artist." Performances I'm happy to see mentioned include Matthias Schoenaerts in "Rust and Bone" (his first citation that I'm aware of) and young star Ernst Umhauer in Francois Ozon's "In the House" (which deserves more attention all round).

The list reflects a strong year for French and French-language cinema -- it really is a shame that only film can represent this bustling industry at the Academy Awards. More details below; you can catch up with the season's other winners at The Circuit.

Prix Louis-Delluc (Best French Film of 2012)
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Noemie Lvovsky, "Camille Rewinds"
Philippe Faucon, "La désintégration"
Benoit Jacquot, "Farewell My Queen" (WINNER)
Leos Carax, "Holy Motors"
Jacques Audiard, "Rust and Bone"
Olivier Assayas, "Something in the Air"
Lucas Belvaux, "38 Witnesses"

Prix Louis-Delluc (Best First Film)
Cyril Mennegun, "Louise Wimmer"

And the Lumiere Award nominations:

Best Film
"Amour"
"Camille Rewinds"
"Farewell My Queen"
"Holy Motors"
"Rust and Bone"

Best French-Language Film (from outside France)
"Laurence Anyways"
"Monsieur Lazhar"
"Our Children"
"La Pirogue"
"Sister"

Best Director
Michael Haneke, "Amour"
Noemie Lvovsky, "Camille Rewinds"
Leos Carax, "Holy Motors"
Cyril Mennegun, "Louise Wimmer"
Jacques Audiard, "Rust and Bone"

Best Actor
Guillaume Canet, "A Better Life"
Denis Lavant, "Holy Motors"
Jeremie Renier, "Cloclo"
Matthias Schoenaerts, "Rust and Bone"
Jean Louis Trintignant, "Amour"

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"
Catherine Frot, "Haute Cuisine"
Noemie Lvovsky, "Camille Rewinds"
Corinne Masiero, "Louise Wimmer"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"

Best Screenplay
"A Bottle in the Gaza Sea"
"Camille Rewinds"
"Farewell My Queen"
"Holy Motors"
"Rust and Bone"

Best Male Newcomer
Clement Metayer, "Something in the Air"
Stephane Soo Mongo, "Rengaine"
Pierre Niney, "Comme des freres"
Mahmoud Shalaby, "A Bottle in the Gaza Sea"
Ernst Umhauer, "In the House"

Best Female Newcomer
Agathe Bonitzer, "A Bottle in the Gaza Sea"
Judith Chemla, Julia Faure and India Hair, "Camille Rewinds"
Izia Hegelin, "Mauvaise fille"
Sofiia Manousha, "Le noir (te) vous va si bien"
Soko, "Augustine"