Saturday, November 3, 2012

Amour - Michael Haneke

Amour was in the Cannes competition of 2012. My film companion José discovered it in the Cartoons and invited me to go and see it. It is a honest, moving treatment of aging, illness and death. George and Anne are two retired music teachers living in Paris. One day Anne suffers a stroke which leaves her paralyzed on one side. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play the intimate and terrifying process of aging and decline. The vivacious, loving and tender relationship from the beginning is under pressure when Anne looses more and more of herself in a always deeper dementia. What is left of us in the end? What dignity, what control? How to love and live through that. I was very moved when Anne refuses to eat or drink. I saw a while ago the same facial expression in my mother's face. The strain on George of caring for Anne is insupportable, yet he promised never to put her in a hospital or home. The relationship with their daughter Eva who lives abroad gets very strained. Eva is performed by Isabelle Huppert .The performance of Trintignant and Riva. The setting is a beautiful book lined apartment in Paris where the world seems beautiful and safe. The fun loving gentleness between the protagonists at the beginning of the film is sublime, making the grief to follow harder. I won't tell the plot. Just if you have a chance go and see the movie.

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