There is nothing sadder that the thought of how inevitable growing old is. It is not the idea of having wrinkles and gray hair that is scary though, but the fact that we would start to feel redundant in this world of transience. Austrian screenwriter and director Michael Haneke, probably best known for his movie “The White Ribbon”, creates another film whose purpose is to provoke. His work, usually defined as “disturbing”, deals with the problems and failures of the world we live in. A bit different than his usual dynamic style, however, “Amour” is a silent, sincere and stretched look at the adulthood. It is a movie that absorbs both your attention and emotions, keeping them focused on the subject long after the end. “Amour” tells the story of two people who are together, both in good, and in bad, in their inwrought destinies. George (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anna (Emmanuelle Riva) are two retired musicians. Their daughter (Isabelle Huppert), also a musician, has abandoned the home nest and now lives abroad with her family. Having their love tested through the years as a couple in their eighties, they now have to face the greatest challenge of them all. When Anna has a stroke, half her body gets paralyzed, and George has to be constantly around her, looking after the worsening state of her fragility: a task unbearable at times.
The main actors create amazing impressions of their characters. But Emmanuelle Riva is simply breathtakingly good! She acts with a surprising ease to such a difficult role. It is, if not award-winning, a truly memorable performance. Another important feature of the movie, of course, is the beautiful soundtrack that contributes to the completeness of this whole emotional experience. “Amour” is indeed a heartbreaking and deeply touching film, portraying quite a realistic picture of life. It is a movie about the kind of deep love that makes you look after the person you dedicated your life to until your last breath. It explores the depths of person’s devotion, emotions and strength. Most importantly, it serves as a proof that true love, despite all obstacles that come on its way, never dies. Not to be missed is the fact that “Amour” has been selected as the Austrian entry for the 85th Academy Awards in the category Best Foreign Language Film. It is definitely a motion picture that can’t leave you indifferent and truly one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It’s worth your attention and if you haven’t seen it yet, then waste no more time!
Published in Strathclyde Telegraph, 2013