Monday, October 8, 2012


Amour (Love) was the winner of the grand prize Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon and The Piano Teacher) and photographed by the fabulous Darius Khondji (Midnight in Paris), Amour is a true masterpiece.

Be warned, however, that this is not an entertainment.  This is a film that makes you think while it touches your heart.
It’s the story of Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), who have been married over half a century and live together in a Paris apartment where they are enjoying each other in retirement.

But, as Anne’s health begins to decline and she suffers debilitating strokes, George takes care of her with tender love, compassion and patience. 

At a time when people are living longer and their care is often in the hands of the stronger one of a couple or their children, I often felt myself viewing Amour as a documentary as much as a drama, learning the how-to of George and wondering if I would do some things the same or differently. 
Thanks to the wonderful editing of Nadine Muse and Monika Willi, though the characters move slowly, the film does not.  It’s a sorrowful subject treated with truthful dignity and power.
A sad note was hearing the Cannes press perked up when Isabelle Huppert, who played the couple’s daughter, appeared, but basically ignored veterans Trintignant and Riva, both with over 50-year careers from the iconic A Man and a Woman and Hiroshima Mon Amour,  respectively. 
I’m delighted that the Palme d’Or proved winning is the best revenge.

 I remember that, barely out of my teens, I could not sit through Bryan Forbes’ film on old age, The Whisperers. I simply did not want to deal with this subject at that time in my life.  So, if you’re under 30, I can well understand it if you might not be attracted this film.  However, I would urge everyone over 30 to see it.

I give Amour an unquestionable 5 out of 5.

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