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 teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
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 (email@example.com)
It's difficult to write a proper review for Michael Haneke's Amour that extends beyond the basic explanation that the film just didn't hit me the way that it did for others. I have minor complaints about some things in the writing (the pigeon metaphor is pretty hammered in, for example) but there isn't anything that I'd say is aggressively wrong with the picture on a level that would lead me to call it a bad film by any means, there just isn't anything that impressed me much with it either.
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva both give incredibly honest performances that lack any of the vanity that is usually associated with acting, guided by Haneke to these portrayals of sincere emotion that feel more like real people than most you're going to find in a film this year. That being said, I don't think that these performances are contained within a film that really allows them to reach their fullest potential, as Haneke's script is so clinical and procedural that I couldn't find myself allowed to experience the emotions that these two were clearly struggling with.
The ordeal that Amour details, an elderly couple strained by one's quickly diminishing mental and physical health, is of course tragic but Haneke's cold approach always kept me at a distance, unable to engage myself properly in the material or their reactions to the situation at hand. Trintignant and Riva remain keyed into these characters every step of the way, but I never found a pull to care for either of them beyond any basic surface level.
This was incredibly surprising for many reasons, not the least of which being that Haneke's filmmaking has never really left me feeling so cold before. Here he takes on what should be the most readily emotional subject matter of his career to this point, but I found myself more removed than I have with any of his previous films; a cruel irony in a lot of ways.
I'm not going to pretend that my opinion on Amour isn't in the minority, so by all means don't consider my non-plussed reaction as a deterrent from seeing the film whatsoever. Go see it, discover for yourself where you fall and hopefully you can belong to the many fans that the film has garnered critically and publicly since its initial release. I wouldn't wish for any to experience the kind of muted disappointment that I have with this one.
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