Amour [Love] (2012)

Amour
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Michael Haneke
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud, William Shimell

Plot:
Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) have been married since about forever. Now well into their eighties, they have a comfortable routine with each other. But that routine is interrupted when one morning, Anne seems to fade out for a little while. After a check at the hospital, it turns out that Anne had a stroke which is only the starting point for her slowly falling apart.

Amour is a slow movie that tells its story calmly. Nevertheless it never gets boring. The story is just that absorbing and engaging.

Haneke took no shortcuts when he shot this film, he seemed to barely make any cuts at all. He just placed his camera somewhere in the room and then let the actors go about their tasks. That slows the movie down, of course, but, as I said, it never makes it boring.

Instead Trintignant and Riva keep you utterly enthralled. The two of them do wonderful jobs. Their relationship with each other feels completely real. Riva really blew my mind with the way she portrayed not only the physical, but also mental destruction of Anne. But Trintignant is equally impressive, if in a very different way.

Haneke is an excellent observer and he has the abilty to transfer that to the audience. He doesn’t need to explain anything. He just makes you notice the right things at the right time. The only thing that did confuse me a bit was what happened to Georges in the end. [SPOILERS] I’m pretty damn certain that he died but why didn’t the police find his body then in that first scene, and only Anne’s? I mean, it’s only one apartment. Though I guess it’s possible that they just hadn’t found the body yet. Another possibility of course is that when Anne took his hand and led him out of the apartment, he actually did leave the apartment and was the one to call the police. But that doesn’t seem very likely. [/SPOILERS] But a re-watch might clear that right up.

In any case, as Haneke tells you about the two, he pulls you in so deep and with such ease that you barely notice the immensity of the events until the movie is over. And that is really hard to pull off.

Summarising: Certainly not the easiest film, but very much worth it.

6 thoughts on “Amour [Love] (2012)

  1. While I really enjoyed this movie, I found the “time jumps” distracting. Also, I sometimes felt a little left out because there are significant, important moments that we don’t experience first-hand. Other than that, it was great.

    • I didn’t mind those jumps. [If I remember correctly, he already used that technique in Caché, where I found it much more jarring.] But I thought that we got to see the important parts and that we could color in the rest ourselves.

      • I dunno. The operation, the diagnosis. Whenever she deteriorated, we only learned the cause of it etc. when he talked to someone, like their daughter. It almost felt like a crime thriller in that regard – who’s the killer? What happened? (I’m exaggerating, of course). But instead of creating tension – as was probably intended – it made me feel detached from it.

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