Amour (2012)

I've said this many and many times before, I don't like romantic films. And yet I decided to watch this one whose title literally means love in French. Of course, I knew absolutely nothing about it (not even that it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Picture in 2013. Yeah, I know, shame on me) and I so found myself watching one of the most powerful, touching and heartbreaking films about love. 

Amour tells the story of Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a couple of retired musicians enjoying life in their eighties. One day Anne has a stroke leading to her being half paralyzed and Georges has to take care of his wife while their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) believes he is unable to take care of Anne and believe he should put her in a hospital. Eventually, Goerges will be forced to make a tragic decision.

The story is very simple, and we know how it will end since the beginning of the film, but it's far from being predictable as there are no clichés of the genre and no useless sentimentalism. The story Michael Haneke tells is simple and realistic. It's about real people and situations we could be facing one day. It's a moving story about love and all the struggles one has to endure because of it. It's really tough to watch at times and it can get a little boring (it's essentially the daily life of someone who is slowly dying), but it's the kind of story that needs to be told and Haneke did a really good job. If I have to be completely honest though, I didn't like the subplot with the daughter because it didn't add as much conflict as it should have.

The real heart of the film, however, is the relationship between the two main characters. While the characters don't have a proper characterization and have very little development (which totally had a negative impact on the film because we don't really get to know these two people), the relationship is full of compassion and understanding between Anne and Georges. There's still love and devotion, which give Georges the strength to take care of her, but there isn't romanticism. It's the kind of relationship we are not used to seeing on the screen, that's why it is so good. 

The film though wouldn't be the same without the fantastic performances from its leads, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. Especially Riva who gives a truly heartbreaking performance. 


  1. I'm glad this worked for you. I hated it so much, like every single moment of it. I know I'm in the minority lol

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  3. E' forse l'unico film di Haneke che non mi ha convinto del tutto. Io non ci vedo molto amore in questo film, malgrado il titolo (e Haneke fa spesso titoli ironici, vedi il suo ultimo "Happy End"). E' la cronaca di una degenerazione fisica e mentale, che vorrebbe (forse) commuovere il pubblico con la crudezza del racconto, riuscendoci però solo a metà. Haneke è un "genio" del male, e quando racconta i sentimenti, come in questo caso, a mio modo di vedere non si trova granchè a suo agio. Il film non emoziona e non crea alcun trasporto emotivo, si limita a raccontare con distacco la discesa agli inferi di un marito che vede la sua compagna sfuggirgli di mano. Ma mai una volta (almeno per me) ci sentiamo in empatia con lui