Monday, December 31, 2012

3. Amour

Directed by Michael Haneke. If you are a fan of 60’s French films, this is the opportunity to see some of those film stars. This is a tender, wrenching, impeccably directed story of love and death, the French-language film stars Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a Parisian couple in their 80’s, Georges and Anne, struggling with an increasingly debilitating illness and the specter of what comes next. One day over breakfast she suffers a frightening episode that leaves her briefly locked in a mute, seemingly unaware blankness. She’s there, but not, and then just as suddenly she returns. The plot works around a hospital stay followed along with an operation, a grim prognosis, a slide into helplessness, the expected accumulation of humiliations, natural and not, and swells of emotion.
Amazing French screen legends Jean-Louis Trintignant from films like “A Man and a Woman”, “The Conformist” and Emmanuelle Riva the mysterious and beautiful woman from “Hiroshima, Mon Amour”, both now in their 80s, play an elderly Parisian couple of the haute-bourgeois cultural elite. Plus Best French actress the magnificent Isabelle Huppert. It has some shocking and confrontational moments, as well as unexplained twists and areas of controlled narrative ambiguity. This is perhaps, gathering from Haneke’s discussions about the film, a loving tribute to the passing away of a certain European class and generation. Both actors give performances of massive power and humanity.

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