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Insightful. Original. Exquisite. Georges and Anne have known a lifetime of love within their intimate marriage. Though their bond has survived time’s test, it’s about to meet its greatest challenge. Acclaimed director Michael Haneke brings a performance tour-de-force to the screen in a film that exalts the beautiful, compassionate and courageous within us all.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 195
- Fresh: 182
- Rotten: 13
- Average Rating: 8.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The resulting interplay of ruthless restraint and unavoidable passion, plus the film's refusal to shrink from depicting the inevitable horrors of physical deterioration, is devastating.
Fresh: "Amour" isn't just a great movie, it's a movie that may actually do you some good.
Fresh: A movie that is utterly worthy of its all-encompassing title.
Fresh: Many viewers will find echoes of their grandparents, parents, or even themselves in these characters.
A DEVASTATINGLY TRAGIC STORY OF OLD LOVE
Going into "Amour," I genuinely didn't know what to expect. In fact, the only reason I ended up seeing this foreign-language film was because it had been nominated for several huge Oscars, including Best Actress, Best Director, and even Best Picture. And I have to say, walking out of the theater, I could easily see why this has been getting so many high accolades from critics. Quite simply, it's one of the most emotionally ruthless experiences I've ever had at the movies. It made me cry, gasp in shock, and tremble in my seat, and only a handful of other films have managed to do that to me. With its intimate premise and brilliant performances, there's no doubt in my mind that this was one of the single best pictures of 2012, if not the best. The story follows Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), a happily married octogenarian couple living together in a small, quaint apartment. Both of them are retired piano teachers who suffer from occasional memory problems. One day, Anne suffers a stroke that leaves the right side of her body completely paralyzed. She eventually refuses to stay in the hospital and asks Georges to care for her at home instead. He does everything in his natural ability to tend to her emotional and physical needs, but soon, daily chores become more and more of a hassle. It's no surprise then that he eventually hires nurses to take care of Anne's physical well-being, and that none of them treat her with any actual compassion and respect. Georges and Anne's love for one another is truly put to the test as her condition gradually deteriorates. Writer/director Michael Haneke has created a profoundly moving romantic drama that's unflinchingly honest and genuinely tender. He initially only focuses on the minute details of Georges and Anne's daily routines which may, at first, seem slight and even tedious, but the more immersed you are in their lives, the more you get to learn about them as human beings. To say that not much happens in this flick would be a very shallow critique because a lot of things truly occur beneath the surface. Haneke never once resorts to mere flashbacks to explain Georges and Anne's background and how they met when they were younger. Their true love is something that can be sensed through how they authentically interact with each other and, most importantly, through the brave, raw, and heartfelt performances of Trintignant and Riva. It must've actually taken them a while to shake off their roles because they sink their teeth into the characters with so much emotional conviction and honesty. At times, it can be emotionally draining to watch them as the movie slowly sinks deeper and deeper into true tragedy. "Amour" could've easily been a simplistic two-character play given that it primarily takes place within the tiny home of Georges and Anne. Their cold-as-ice daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) and one of their former students (Alexandre Tharaud), a pianist, make momentary visits to their apartment. But this flick's staginess is barely ever felt because you're so emotionally captivated by what transpires to our two main characters; you really feel as though you're right there with them. Haneke also provokes his audience intellectually through the use of very subtle symbolisms, i.e. a pigeon that flies through a window not once, but twice. Anne's dramatic health attack can easily represent any kind of physically traumatic experience that causes changes within a marriage. One thing is for sure though: Georges and Anne's unflinching love for each other always stays the same, even though times of extreme adversity. So despite the fact that "Amour" goes into dark, downbeat territory more often than not, as many great movies do, it does offer a glimmer of hope about the everlasting power of true love through its vicissitudes. That being said, the ending to this film is easily one of the most shocking and incredibly depressing endings you're ever likely to see in any picture. Nonetheless, it's still truly worth seeing. Why? Because not all romances are meant to be easily predictable and end with a happy conclusion. Films like "Amour" are not made simply because they're a genuine passion project for the filmmaker, but because they're meant to look back upon and promote intelligent discussion, and I think Haneke has more than succeeded with this powerful, unnerving drama. Riva's Oscar-nominated performance just shook me to my very core in nearly every scene, and her on-screen relationship with Trintignant is nothing short of beautiful. Honestly, at the end of the day, it would be an absolute crime not to call this film a masterpiece. With its unpredictable script, realistic main characters, and harrowingly tragic beauty, "Amour" may be incredibly difficult to sit through, but it's an insightful human story we can all relate to, young or old.
Seriously moving story of love and loss
This is one of those movies you watch once and never want to see again, not because it is bad, but because it affects you so viscerally the first time that any subsequent viewings will just force you into a deeper sense of despair. This movie was a fortunate ordeal, in that it was difficult to watch, but you are made more aware of the life you are living because of it. I am not afraid to say that I cried when it was done, and I still get that pang of sadness whenever I recall Emanuelle Riva's amazing performance. An incredibly moving account of what awaits some of us when we reach that particular age.
It was ok
Interesting movie. Beware as no subtitles and in French, which I am fluent in. Sad movie which had a lot of issues with it. It made the situation in the movie helpless, which made no sense. Certain scenes are painful to watch. The lead actress was amazing and deserved the Oscar nomination. Otherwise, not on my favorite movie list.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2012
- © 2012 Les Films du Losange, X Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film, France 3 Cinema, ARD Degeto, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. All Rights Reserved.