MOVIE REVIEW: Amour

My wife asked, after we saw Amour at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany Sunday, whether I thought Emmanuelle Riva was embarrassed being partially nude when she played Anne, a woman in need of being cleaned by others in the movie Amour. I quipped “Nah, she’s French!” In fact, and I did not know this at the time, she had appeared in the erotic 1959 art house film Hiroshima, Mon Amour.

Still, I was wondering how awful Anne, the character, must have felt at the indignity. Anne was a proud woman, an accomplished piano teacher. In an early scene we see Anne beaming as she and her husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), an older couple, sit in an audience watching her former student Alexandre (Alexandre Tharaud) perform.

Soon, though, Anne suffers a stroke that paralyzes her on one side. She is adamant; no hospital for her! So Georges becomes her primary caretaker for a time, trying to hide the degree of her deteriorating condition from their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert), not to mention their annoying British son-in-law. Ultimately, though, Georges is forced to get some outside help, which is difficult for them both.

More than the story itself, which is well-acted, but ultimately depressing as hell, I started thinking about how one does deal with being the caretaker of an aging and ailing parent or spouse, or how one would feel being the one cared for. This movie may be a how-to NOT do so. One of the POSITIVE reviews in Rotten Tomatoes, by Tom Long, says: “In many ways it’s the best horror film I’ve ever seen. At the same time, it’s hard to recommend; I believe I will be struggling to forget this film as long as I live. I doubt I’ll succeed.” Other comments read along similar paths.

Amour is nominated for Best Picture and Best Foreign Film -it’s in French with subtitles. It’s worth seeing, I reckon, but I shan’t watch it again.

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3 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: Amour

  1. I have thoughts myself about how this gig of life will end. After seeing many of the people I’m close to go through “the end.” There is lots to be said for a quick exit rather than a slow one.

  2. Ooooh. Remind me not to see this one any time soon.

    Reality is, most of us will have to kill at least one loved one (“pull the plug”); deal with the fact that a loved one’s body is healthier than their mind (example above); someone will have to pull the plug on us; and the vast majority of us will go through this “second babyhood.” “Let them wander off on an iceberg” starts to look a little better…

    For a more gentle and poetic treatment of the same topic, I’d recommend the novel “Never Let Me Go.”

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