Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
Georges and Anne are a couple of retired music teachers enjoying life in their eighties. However, Anne suddenly has a stroke at breakfast and their lives are never the same. That incident begins Anne's harrowingly steep physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home as she wishes. Even as the fruits of their lives and career remain bright, the couple's hopes for some dignity prove a dispiriting struggle even as their daughter enters the conflict. In the end, George, with his love fighting against his own weariness and diminished future on top of Anne's, is driven to make some critical decisions for them both.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It's no surprise that Amour garners strong and polarized emotions from viewers. As both a director and writer, Haneke plumbs the dividing line - often the gulf - between what do and say, and what we feel. As someone about to turn the corner into what some consider to be old age, and perhaps overly daunted by the subject matter, it took me some time to build up the courage to watch this film. As a good friend said after he'd seen it, Amour is a film that you must see, but that you will probably only want, or need, to see once. But see it you must.
The genius of this film lies in the fact that it doesn't rely on any cheap cinematic or emotional shortcuts. We see this elderly couple for what they are: refined, often distant from one another and from their daughter and their star pupil, perhaps a bit smug, even snobbish. Their relationship is not the stuff of teary-eyed sentimentality.
For virtually the entire film we live with Georges and Anne in their comfortable but decidedly stuffy Paris apartment. The claustrophobia that they must feel, confined to a small space by Anne's deteriorating health, is reinforced by the fact that we never even see out their window, though the window does play a pivotal role in the film symbolic motif. Contrast that with another one of cinema's greatest apartment-bound films, Rear Window, in which we spend virtually all of our time looking out onto other people's lives. Here, we're forced to look relentlessly inward. We asked, in effect, to examine our own feelings towards love and death, to decide what we would do, how we would respond.
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva give astonishingly restrained and sensitive performances. There are lengthy passages in this film in which they live their lives in utter silence, but what eloquence there is in that quietness. There is not a single false note, not a turn of the head, or a word of dialogue, that rings false.
Haneke has made three of my favourite films of all time - Cache, White Ribbon and now this. They couldn't be more different. Amour is the work of a true artist.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this