I didn’t really like Amour. Amour is a foreign film, which is not a problem for me because two of my favorite films are foreign films. It is set in Paris, France and of course it is in French. Yes, you have to read subtitles. This movie has a good story to tell, and one that we should see but the timing is just off to me. It was way too slow for me to enjoy it. Amour is nominated for five Oscars including Best Director, Best Foreign Film, Best Picture, Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), and Best Original Screenplay.
The plot is deceptively simple and complicated at the same time. It features an elderly couple that has had good careers as music teachers. They have raised a daughter who is also a successful musician. Then the unthinkable happens Anne, the wife, has blockage in her neck artery causing a stroke. The rest of the film focuses on the love her husband, Georges, shows in taking care of her as her health degenerates. It also shows how well meaning relatives can complicate an already bad situation.
What I like the about Amour is that shows a situation that most people don’t understand unless they have taken care of a ill and dying loved one. For me, this is a story that should be told, however, I am not sure this is the way to tell it. This movie is not going to appeal to a wide audience, as it is very slow paced. I thought each scene was just a little bit too long.
I did enjoy the acting. Amour is one of those films that if the acting doesn’t work then the movie doesn’t work. The acting by the two main characters was very good. Emmanuelle Rive definitely deserves her nomination for Best Actress. She shows the struggle of someone who has had a stroke. She shows the pain and the loss of dignity that someone with her condition goes through. We watch her try to keep her independence while it slowly slips away. We believe in her character and feel for her as she deteriorates. A lot of this character has to play through Anne’s voice and face as she loses control over her body. She did a phenomenal job.
Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Georges, Anne’s husband. He is an elderly man faced with the hard task of caring for his invalid wife. He is incapable of getting the groceries up their stairs, and somehow he has to lift his wife and do everything for her. You can see the love and devotion that makes he attempt this great feat. You can also see the frustration and defeat in his face and voice, as Anne gets worse. This is also a believable character in great pain.
Overall, I didn’t really enjoy Amour. I am glad to have watched it but wouldn’t see it again or recommend it to many to watch. It is just too slow for most people.