Crikey, Sunday morning film viewing does not get anymore bleak, tiring or desperate than this. By the end of Amour I was shocked to discover it was still 2012, feeling like I must have aged a decade as director Michael Haneke drags out the simple drama for all it’s worth which actually has the effect of moving you perfectly into the lives and minds of the film’s two aging characters. As clinical as its execution might be, it’s nevertheless difficult to recommend the experience to anyone.
Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are an elderly couple, both retired music teachers. Anne has a stroke and their love is tested, with Georges left looking after her as his wife becomes less and less the woman he loves. It’s a film many people can relate to, the reality of watching a loved one fade slowly and it’s handled unflinchingly from reality. It is what it is – many might find it understandably powerful but it’s such an exhausting experience to witness, with little happening for minutes and shots being drawn out for all they are worth that I found it absolutely exhausting. It’s a perfect mirror against the reality of such sadness without going much further so if you want to sit through that – this is for you.
Review by David Rank
Amour is out now in the UK and out on 16th November in the UK. Certificate 12A (UK). Running time 127 mins.
Comments and feedback are always welcome or just give the film a rating by using the stars at the top.