Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture

ORIGINS: Per Menegoz, “Michael Haneke talked to me about this project five years ago, but we ultimately decided to do ‘The White Ribbon’ first.”

FUNDING: “The financing was done as usual with French TV pre-sales, subsidies from the CNC and the same (French, German, Austrian) partners as ‘The White Ribbon,’ (which) gave us access to European subsidies.”

HIGH HURDLES: “Convincing Jean-Louis Trintignant to play Georges — the script had been written for him by Michael Haneke. He stopped making films 16 years ago and has preferred to do stage work since.” Once the star agreed, Haneke considered multiple over-80 French actresses to play his partner, deciding on Emmanuelle Riva.

DOMINO EFFECT: “Isabelle Huppert immediately agreed to play the daughter. It took a longer time to find the character of the couple’s former piano student. Finally, (we chose) Alexandre Tharaud, who is a famous worldwide pianist.”

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