Nicholas Bell’s Top Ten Films of 2012: (Picks 5 to 1) Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is #1

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5. Amour – Dir. Michael Haneke (Austria)

Winner of the Palme D’or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the second for auteur Michael Haneke, much mention has been made about this being Haneke’s warmest, most human film. I agree that the film is quite moving, giving us two cinematic legends at their late career best, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant (who came out of retirement to do the film), and a moving supporting performance from Haneke favorite, Isabelle Huppert. However, I don’t really agree with classifying this as a warm or even human picture. Haneke’s glacially cold gaze doesn’t warm up at all here, simply showing us a final act of kindness born just as much out of pragmatic selfishness as it could be out of love. This is an unflinching look at the cruelty of life and nature, and those desperately looking for evidence of Haneke losing
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