RELEASED: 16th November 2012
DIRECTOR: Michael Haneke
CAST: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud and William Shimell
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $19.8m
AWARDS: 1 Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film), 1 Golden Globe (Best Foreign Language Film) and 2 BAFTA’s (Best Actress and Best Foreign Language Film)
Amour focuses on a couple in their eighties, Georges and Anne, living comfortably in an apartment in Paris of the pair retired from teaching music. However during a meal at breakfast Anne has a stroke and over the course of the film we steep into Anne’s physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home as he promises her to not put her in a nursing home.
Amour (French for Love) is a French-language film, following an elderly couple, Georges and Anne Laurent, who have spent their lives performing and teaching music in Paris, who offer each other total commitment and on occasion get a visit from their daughter Eva. Their change however in a few minutes when they’re eating breakfast in the kitchen and Anne has a silent stroke. The sequence of the silent stroke is effect, with Georges initially unaware that Anne is frozen and somewhere else, and her confusion of missing that time gives you a brief glimpse into how Anne deteriorates over the course of the film, with Georges promising not to put her into a care home and their daughter looking for causes and solution to getting her mother back to the way she was, almost moreso than the heartache that her parents are going through. It’s a beautifully crafted film from Michael Haneke, with some lovely and understated cinematography work from Darius Khondji. The film relies heavily on its co-leads and Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are absolutely fantastic here, particularly Riva who would go on to earn an Oscar nomination for her performance, which made her the oldest ever nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Mesmerising, fascinating and heartbreaking, Armour could be considered too upsetting/painful a film to watch as it can hit terribly close to home for anyone that’s gone through this.
FAVOURITE SCENE: Anne is playing the piano, seamlessly recovering from the effects of her stroke, only for the camera to cut to Georges sitting on the chair, where he’ll be looking at the piano from his position, only to turn around and stop the cassette playing the music. It’s a beautifully edited scene.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Things will go on, and then one day it will all be over.” – Georges Laurent
DID YOU KNOW: Loosely based on personal experiences of director Michael Haneke. His aunt suffered a degenerative disease and the paintings seen in the movie are owned by Haneke’s parents.