Amour (2012)

amour poster 2012 movie academy awards
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great performances, great looking, smart script

Intentionally slow plot and shooting style could wear some out

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Amour

Studio:  Studio Canal +

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):  May 20, 2012 (Cannes)/September 20, 2012 (Germany)/October 24, 2012 (France)

MPAA Rating:  R

amour-stroke

And it all goes down hill from here…

Anne and Georges Laurent (Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Tritignant) have been married for years.  After a night out to see a former student perform, Anne suffers a severe stroke at the breakfast table.  After a failed operation, Georges finds himself caring for his ailing wife who is now only going to get sicker…not better.  The end is coming, and Anne and Georges are going to have to face this but aren’t sure if either will have the strength to do it.

Written and directed by Michael Haneke, Amour is a product of a French, German, and Austrian team and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.  The movie has been a big award winner throughout the world and won for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), and Best Original Screenplay.

amour-father-and-daughter

She’s my mother…she’s my wife

Haneke wrote Amour based on a family situation, and you can tell because the picture just feels very natural.  The movie starts out telling you where it is going to end with police discovering the body of Anne so Haneke has too choices…a strange and different path to that ending or a natural one that feels extremely plausible.  He picks the one that is real (fortunately).

Amour has emotions that are probably very accessible to most of the audience.  The movie primarily focuses on George and Anne and their struggles, but also touches on what it means for their child Eva (Isabelle Huppert).  While Georges sometimes seems cold to Eva regarding his mother’s situation, Eva sometimes comes off a prying and forceful.  Haneke does a great job with this because though it is a private matter for Georges and Anne, Eva rightfully should have a say in the situation…or should she?  That is some of where the script is great…the movie really makes you question who has the right to be involved in the death of a person which in turn is the most important moment in life (a weird juxtaposition).

amour-piano-playing

For better…

With the focus being on Georges and Anne, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Tritignant are amazingly real as a couple.  Riva obviously has the meatier role and has been praised more often (she is the oldest Oscar nominee for Best Actress), but Tritignant’s lower key performance also deservingly should have a lot of attention.  Despite only Riva being “sick”, you can see both characters slowing down through the course of the movie which starts out with a fun night out.  They both are tired, lonely, and hurting and the one who has to do it while “healthy” is going to have some of the tougher acting.

amour-bed-exercise

…or worse

The movie is very, very slow, and it is intentional.  I have a feeling that the events of the movie don’t take place as long as most viewers would guess.  I think Anne’s decline is probably six months if that, but the movie makes it feel longer because in a situation like that, every moment probably feels like an eternity to those involved.  Georges is forces to care and clean for the woman he has loved for years, and day to day life now is a chore.

Amour is tough to watch.  It is a picture that feels real…very real.  The movie’s depiction of the sometimes very rapid decline of a person has a realism that you’re stuck with even after the rather abrupt ending.  You start Amour knowing where it’s going, and just wishing you could change it.

Related Links:

The 85th Academy Awards Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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