Love at first sight can be a beautiful thing, but what happens to love as we grow old? Is love able to sustain age? In Michael Haneke’s Academy Award winning drama, "Amour" (French for "Love") we see the ultimate test of true love. Parisians Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are in their eighties when health issues strike Anne and Georges is left at a crossroad.
Set in modern-day Paris, husband and wife, Georges and Anne are hopelessly devoted to each other and their shared passion of classical music. Their world is suddenly turned upside down when Anne suffers a stroke and is no longer able to care for herself.
Dedicated husband Georges transitions from loving companion to full time caretaker as Anne loses her ability to walk, talk, toilet and feed. Georges struggles to complete tasks that are awkward and uncomfortable for both husband and wife.
Their charming Parisian flat slowly turns into a hospital like environment. Anne, terrified of institutions made Georges promise to keep her home. Georges struggles to cope with the changes in his wife while Anne struggles to cope with changes in her body.
Having worked in geriatrics and knowing the struggles of care giving, I can personally attest that the writing portrayed by actors Trintigant and Riva are spot on. This is acting at its finest. Riva, at 85, is the oldest woman to be nominated in the Academy Award’s Best Actress category. Both characters are authentic and raw. Trintigant is able to convey Georges’ feelings of becoming burdened with not so much words but in his body language.
The film stand out from most films as it is shot primarily in one location, the couple’s apartment, rather than multiple locations around Paris. Viewers see the experience of the characters as if they were flies on the wall. The technique is simply brilliant.
Amour is a superb film with little to no side plots and content that is deep and heavy but is universally relatable. Le film est magnifique!
In French with English subtitles