San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Sneak Preview of:
Production year: 2012
Countries: Austria, France, Germany, Rest of the world
Runtime: 125 mins
Director: Michael Haneke
Cast: Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant
About the film:
Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.
The Austrian director of ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Ribbon’ offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat, right at the start, is at the theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future...
...Haneke presents the stark realities of sickness – problems of washing, mobility, going to the toilet – but his aim is not solely to present a realistic portrait of the end. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt by this couple – pride, despair, impending loss, empathy and its limits. There are strong feelings at play, but there’s also an intense pragmatism afoot. Georges has made a pledge to Anne: ‘Please never take me back to the hospital… Promise… Promise me.’ Among so many other things, this is a film about loyalty and being true to your word. ‘Amour’ is a staggering, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece.
--Review by Dave Calhoun, Time Out London
Winner of the Palm d'Or, Cannes 2012
Nominated for European Film Awards: Best Film, Actor, Actress, Cinematographer, Director, Screenwriter
Watch the trailer:
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