Posted on 10/09/12 02:41 AM
The feel-good hit of the year!
Michael Haneke is the master of powerlessness. In Funny Games, a family is killed by some young men for no apparent reason, much like the family who commits suicide in Der Siebente Kontinent. Even in Caché the police can't help the family to find out where these tapes are coming from.
In Amour we are watching the slow death of Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) who is semi-paralyzed after a stroke and looked after by her loving husband (Jean-Louis Trintignant). Riva gives a stellar performance as the, first only physically handicapped, later also mentally unstable, Anne. Probably the best (female) performance of the year so far, and I'd wonder if her name doesn't come up when award season comes along.
Trintignant is also very effective in his heart-shattering portrayal of Georges, who tries his best to care for his wife but is overchallenged. He can't let go though.
Haneke's distinctive style of clear cuts and spare camera positioning and his refusal to use off-music suits the subject matter very well.
Strictly technical AMour is a masterpiece. I can't give to much points to it though. It's so devastating and unbearable at times that I pined for the film to end. Although I admire how Haneke accomplished that I can't really say I liked the film. Nonetheless, you should definitely see this.
PS: Funny how one year sees two successful French-language films about a paralytic and his carer. Completely different in tone though.