Showing at Palace Nova East End cinemas from February 21st
French with English subtitles
Amour means love in French, and it perfectly describes this beautiful story about two precious souls in their final days together in Austrian director Michael Haneke’s elegant love story Amour.
In 2012, the film received the Palme d’Or at Cannes and four European Film Awards (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film, Best Director). This year it has received the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and is nominated for five Academy Awards. Quite a feat for a non-English speaking film, but when you see it you will understand why.
Two icons of French cinema, Jean-Louis Trintignant (A Man and A Woman) and Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour) give two of this year’s best performances. They play Georges and Anne, cultivated, retired music teachers in their eighties.
When Anne suffers a stroke, doctors inform her she is battling an obstruction of the carotid. Following an unsuccessful surgery procedure, the entire right side of her body is left completely paralyzed.
Now we see true love, as Georges becomes Anne’s caretaker. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) returns and ponders why her mother hasn’t yet been put in a home. Georges rejects her intrusion, saying “We’ll manage alright” he reassures her: “We’ve always coped, your mother and I”.
And cope they do. Director Michael Haneke helps them do it with a realism totally befitting the delicate yet gritty storyline. Our attention is not diverted to flashbacks of their past and happier times; we simply face the account of watching someone die. Still, it is beautifully executed.
Amour will bring a familiar essence to anyone who has ageing or terminally ill loved ones. It will also bring reminders to us who have been looked after by those who love us in an accident recovery. As the title says: Amour -or love -is undoubtedly the most important emotion.
4.5 (out of 5)
You will like this if you liked films such as “The Kid With A Bike”, “A Separation” and “The Hours”.