Written and directed by Michael Haneke
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud, William Shimell, Rita Blanco and Ramón Agirre
While I was researching for my Best Foreign Language Film submission of The LAMB Devour the Oscars blog-a-thon, I stumbled on the official website and realized that Amour was opening at the indie theater downtown. I went to the first opening showing of the movie. The movie being nominated for Best Foreign Film and Best Picture, I thought I would fall in "amour" with the film. It was good, but not great.
A married octogenarian couple, Georges (Trintignant) and Anne (Riva) are enjoying their golden years together. After attending a concerto by one of their star students for when they were music teachers, Alexandre (Tharaud), Georges notices that Anne is unresponsive to him. He tries desperately to figure out what is wrong with her. Later, they come to realize that Anne has stroke which leaves her paralyzed on her right side. Now, that Georges has to take care of her, Anne does not want to be a burden to Georges. She wants to be her old self before her health began to decline.
This movie really hit home with me, because my grandmother who has recently passed on was dealing with some of the instances that happened in this movie. My grandmother was the typical grandmother that loved life, her family and will do anything to help you out. When she got into her twilight years, her health began to decline and she would have to depend on nurses to come in and caregiver to help her through simple chores the aveage person takes advangetage of. I know that my grandma and Anne did not want to be living in a helpless state. They are both strong-willed people that could be difficult at times.
Watching the movie, it made me ask the question, "If I was too far gone to take care of myself, would I be treated like an adult baby or be able to find everlasting peace?" It is hard to answer that question now. The movie is very quiet in its presentation. Haneke's last feature, The White Ribbon left me with a bad taste in my mouth. He tends to omit the good stuff and leaves the scraps on the screen. The same thing almost happens here.
The movie is saved by the wondrous performances of Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. I truly believe that they were a real married couple that has to deal with a major life altering event. The movie is heartbreaking to watch a woman lose a bit of herself every time you saw her. I thought the movie was similar to Away from Her on the surface, but delved into depths never before shown on screen. I have to say one final thing, I was confused by the intentions of Georges at the end of the movie.