Friday, November 30, 2012

Amour - An Austrian Movie In French Language

Photo from www.europeonscreen.org

Austria | 2012 | 127 minutes | Director: Michael Haneke | Palme d'Or Cannes 2012 |

Amour follows the life of retired octogenarian musician couple George and Anne Laurent (played beautifully by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emanuelle Riva) after the wife suffers a stroke that paralyses half of her body.


This movie brings to mind the change in the European society. In the past, an ailing family member would be taken care by other family members, but with everyone is busy nowadays (in the film, the couple's daughter Eva, played by Isabelle Huppert, is living in England), it's either the hospitals, hospices or similar facilities.

Another plus point for Amour is that it dares to feature old people on screen amidst other movies showing young people in bikinis.

Watching this movie, I kept thinking about my parents. If anything happens, I'd be the only one to take care of them, I hope I'd be strong enough.

Michael Haneke is one of my favorite directors. Before Amour, I watched Michael Haneke's Cache (Hidden), which won him the best director in the 2005 Cannes. Cache is a gripping drama about a couple (whose names are also George and Anne Laurent) who receives surveillance tapes from an unknown sender. 

I remembered that when Cache's credit rolled on the screen, everyone was glued on their seats. Upon walking out of the cinema, people are talking to each other,"Did you get the movie? I don't understand! So who does what to whom? And why?" 

When I discovered that this year's European Film Festival would screen a film by Haneke (and that the movie got the Palme d'Or), I slithered to the venue. So what happened after the screening of Amour? Everyone has their own opinion. 

I couldn't help overhearing because I find it interesting to listen to other people's opinion. One praises how George manages to take care of his wife (despite the sad ending...wait a minute, I won't give the spoiler, of course), while another says that the movie is very depressing yet so real and humane. 

As I stood inside the elevator that brought a group of audience and I back to the first floor of Grand Indonesia (and also reality), an elderly Indian woman said to her younger relatives,"If the condition is really bad, I think one should send ailing family members to an institution. They can take care the persons much better." 

Have you watched Amour? What do you think?

I think the most beautiful part of Haneke's works is he allows and creates space for the audience to decide on the film. Just like Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

Have a wonderful weekend, sweeties!

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