MICHAEL HANEKE's acclaimed drama AMOUR has been given a huge pre-Oscars boost after sweeping the board at the Cesar Awards in Paris, France on Friday (22Feb13), taking home five of the night's major prizes.
The film, about the relationship between an elderly couple, picked up the event's biggest prize - Best Picture, beating Camille Rewinds, Rust and Bone, Holy Motors, The First Name, In the House and Farewell, My Queen.
Haneke was named Best Director, while his stars Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant were named Best Actress and Best Actor respectively.
The movie also picked up the Best Original Screenplay honor.
What's In A Name also pulled in the awards - Valerie Benguigui won Best Supporting Actress and Guillaume de Tonquedec, Best Supporting Actor.
Meanwhile, Rust and Bone, starring French movie star Marion Cotillard, enjoyed an impressive haul at the prizegiving after winning awards for Best Adapted Screenplay (Jacques Audiard/Thomas Bidegain), Newcomer (Male) for Matthias Schoenaerts, Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and Editing (Juliette Welfling).
Ben Affleck's Argo was named Best Foreign Film. He will go head-to-head with Haneke on Sunday (24Feb13) at the Oscars, where both of their films are up for Best Picture.
The Bodyguard star Kevin Costner was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.