Amour (EUFF) | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

Amour (EUFF)

Anne and Georges are retired music teachers with a daughter who lives abroad. When Anne suffers a stroke, paralysing her on one side of the body, her condition threatens the couple`s bond of love.

Language: French
Subtitle: English
Classification: P13
Release Date: 7 Nov 2013
Genre: Drama / Romance
Running Time: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
Distributor: FILM FESTIVAL ORGANIZER
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva
Director: Michael Haneke
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Elaine Ewe

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Effects: NA
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Watch this if you liked: "The Piano Teacher" and "The White Ribbon"

While Michael Haneke's "Amour" lives up to its title - beautifully cinematographed and aurally appealing, adjectives that tends to be associated with love - it is also devastating chamber piece that examines the effect of sickness and identity loss on love.

The drama's narrative focuses on an elderly couple, Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), retired music teachers with a daughter who lives abroad. The elderly couple are very much in love with each other, made obvious by Georges' playful remark to Anne that she looks very pretty. However, the couple's contented life is turned inside out when Anne suffers a stroke that paralyses her on one side of her body. To make things worse, Anne begins to show signs of what appears to be vascular dementia, but she makes Georges promise never to put her in a hospital or home. As Anne's condition deteriorates, so does her sense of self, which brings their love into question: how far will Georges go to care for her?

Prior to this review, "Amour" has already garnered critical acclaim, but Haneke's film is definitely not for everyone. Similar to "Funny Games" and "Cache", Haneke's everyday Georges and Anne, this time in their eighties, are put through the wringer, and viewers are forced to watch scene after scene of nightmarish proportions, yet cannot look away. From the beginning where Anne enters into a catatonic state during breakfast until Anne as a being reduced to nothing more than crying out in pain and wishing to die, as evidenced by her refusal to eat or drink. Most of the scenes in "Amour" are not accompanied by background music, and are composed of long takes. It is a film that unashamedly provides us as realistically as possible what happens to a relationship when the shadow of death looms ahead, without flair or pomp, but shot with such clarity and precision that it becomes deeply moving.

Trintignant's performance as Georges is disturbing and as such, a marvel to watch. At no point does he lose his composure or break down, which gives the scene building up to the climax the impact it warrants. The climax itself is the grandstanding answer that we have been waiting for since we agreed to sell our attention for 127 minutes; and it is a shocker that does not disappoint. Of course, the star of the film is Emmanuelle Riva, who gives an encore-worthy performance as Anne. She exudes a gentleness and fragility that makes one empathise with her, not forgetting her capacity for generating minute facial expressions. The early sequence when Georges is seized with fear about her sudden trance is exemplifies this: she manages to go from a classically blank, leonine state of the dementia patient to one of indignation, insisting instead that he is the one who is losing his mind. The only flaw with the casting is Isabelle Huppert, whose big star status seems unfitting for her miniscule role in the film.

As unexpected as it is intelligent, thanks to virtuoso work from Haneke and his stars, "Amour" is landmark filmmaking that requires more than one viewing to fully grasp its meaning, and forces you to ruminate on life, death and ultimately, love.

Cinema Online, 21 January 2013

   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P12 - Parental guidance required for audiences under the age of 12.
13 - For audiences aged 13 years old and above.
16 - For audiences aged 16 years old and above.
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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