Amour (12A)

Written and Directed by Michael Haneke
Showing at FACT from 23rd November - 11th December, 2012

Reviewed by Darren Guy

Amour (literally means French for "Love")

Georges Jean-Louis Trintignant, and Anne Emmanuelle Riva are two cultivated, retired music teachers in their eighties. Their daughter, Eva Isabelle Huppert who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. Gerorges and Anne still very much in love and enjoying their life together in a Paris flat. When suddenly Anne has a stroke and before we know it comes home in a wheelchair. The films follows the steady decline of Anne, and the isolation Georges feels as he tries to cope with caring for his beloved wife.

Amour is one of the most powerful, touching and honest films I have seen in a while, it shows clearly the isolation, loneliness of George the carer and the distance he and Anne feel from the world around them. We have the arrival of Eva, their daughter, who tries to intervene without taking responsibility. The film tackles very gently the stark and realistic choices George has to make as Anne's physical and mental health declines.

Considering the subject matter, I was suprised to find that beside myself the packed cinema was full of elderly people. But that says a lot for its relevance and the commonality of it subject matter. The script early on can seem tedious, but builds up to an unbearable tension. The acting of the two main characters is superb. This is an important film that deals with a subject matter that is very close to many people's hearts. It seems older people don't need to be encouraged to go, so I would advise any young person to see this film. It is a must see for understanding the lives and choices the elderly have to make.

Read Joe Coventry's review of Amour here

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