Amour (Love)

29 Nov

Georges (played by Jean Louis Trintignant) and Anne (by Emmanuelle Riva) have a marvellous life in Paris. They enjoy the arts, particularly classical music and Anne, a piano teacher is proud to say her former pupil, Alexandre (by Alexandre Tharaud), is now a virtuoso classical pianist. Their daughter, Eva (by Isabelle Huppert) lives in London, but keeps regular contact with them. One day, Anne experiences a strange episode and in an attempt to address this she undergoes surgery which is not successful, leaving her partially paralysed. George cares for her at their home but her condition degenerates and things become very difficult for him and the nurse carers he employs. Anne is adamant she does not want to be put into any care facility, so George looks after her himself to honour her strong wishes. Eva would prefer that her mother receive professional care elsewhere, but George will not hear of it. George and Anne battle on as best they can …

This is a marvellous movie. Although the production is simple, it is so deep in its focus and emotion that little dialogue or dramatic visual presentation is necessary. The director has masterfully created a piece that captures the audience’s attention with very little fanfare, but huge effect. The performances of both Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louise Trintignant are remarkable. Anyone who has nursed a loved one at home will find this goes straight to the heart of the situation, with no holds barred. Little wonder that in 2013 Emmanuelle Riva was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for her performance here – at 85, she is the oldest woman ever to receive such a nomination. Her performance is just stunning. I was transfixed for much of the movie.  To describe its story makes it sound hum-drum … the daily lives of two people in their eighties living with serious illness and incapacitation and trying to get by day to day … but really, it’s so much more. Everything is so authentic, plausible and possible – it makes the viewer consider their own actions in such a situation. Along with the nomination for Riva, the movie also won the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Achievement in Directing, Writing and Original Screenplay. In the same year, it was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and BAFTA Awards for Best Leading Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and Best Film not in the English Language. The whole thing is marvellous.

Made in 2012. Directed by Michael Heneke.

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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Movies


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