Movie Review

Movie Review – Amour

"Things will go on, and then one day it will all be over. "

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I can not recommend Amour. It’s a superb film to be sure – immaculately directed and beautifully performed, but it’s also extremely difficult to sit through particularly if you’ve ever experienced the slow and brutal death of a loved one.

This French production is currently in the process of winning every film award known to man, and it will undoubtedly win big at this year’s Academy Awards. I can’t say it doesn’t deserve all of these accolades. The plot is fairly simple: an elderly man is tormented as he watches his loving wife gradually wither away in her final days. It’s an impactful showcase of the power of enduring love, but it’s also traumatizing to watch. Michael Haneke, Amour‘s director, certainly knows how to get under his audience’s skin. Many times throughout the film, he simply places the camera in the corner of a room and lets it linger past moments you would normally expect to be edited (characters turning their backs, faces beyond the lens frame). In the process, he makes the audience feel like voyeurs as the scenes unfold and we watch every private detail of the characters’ lives from a distance. Simply put, the film is uncompromising and terrifyingly realistic.

Emmanuelle Riva plays the film’s leading lady, and she’s astounding. The woman genuinely frightened me, tapping into the most primal emotions and capturing the most unflinching and intricate nuances of a person approaching death.Β  I lost my own mother last year and she went through many of the same symptoms during her final months so I found it especially painful and heartbreaking to watch. Nevertheless, I can’t but commend the cast and crew for bringing to life such a vivid albeit distressing portrayal of life’s most horrifying ordeal.

Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Riva’s husband George, and he’s highly impressive as well. He basically carries the other half of the film and he does so with grace and poise. He’s not getting nearly as much praise as his role isn’t the obvious one, but he does an extraordinary job conveying the wide spectrum of emotions the character undergoes.

Conclusion
Amour is an unforgettable and heartwrenching depiction of death and love. However, I just wanted the film to be over so I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Sometimes, when something is this realistic and relentless, it’s better to just avoid it.

Β Nad Rating
A-

3 comments

  1. I totally know what you mean about not recommending
    an excellent movie like this.

    The actors are beyond superb.
    The emotions, the expressions…

    It's like not just feeling the emotion;
    It's like being with them; at that moment.

    During the film viewing, the thought that will go
    through your mind is:
    Will the movie end showing the death scene?
    Or will it end with death as presumed?

    I once saw a movie where death was presumed.
    The life of the person was supposedly dependent
    on a candle that's being consumed by its fire (light).
    The film ended with the camera focused on the
    candle that the person picked up after he was told
    that it is his candle of life.
    The candle burned down then the screen went dark.
    The End.

    When you see movies like this, the emotions that
    you feel really burns depending on the degree such
    experiences affects your own life.

    Nice review, Nadim.
    I see that the film had a big impact on you. πŸ™‚
    The French really know what the phrase “gut wrenching”
    mean, right?
    That's why I love watching French films.
    The directors are very emotional even in French action films. πŸ™‚

  2. What a nice surprise to see that you've watched the movie as well. Yes the film really affected me Rosebud but the more I think of it, the more I'm impressed by just how accurate and powerful it is! What is the movie with the candle that you mentioned?

  3. It was a 1975 Filipino comedy/drama film titled Doctor, Doctor I Am Sick.
    The actor playing the lead was actually a comedian.
    The story is of a simple man who, because of an act of kindness
    to an old man he met in the mountains, he was rewarded with the
    gift of healing.
    He was told that once the old man appears by the head of the
    patient's bed (the one he is healing), the patient will be healed.
    His healing “ability” goes on until one day, the old man appeared
    by the foot of the bed.
    The healer cannot believe it!
    So he had the bed rotated. And rotated. And rotated.
    But each time, the old man still appeared by the foot of the bed.
    And the patient died.

    This made him angry.
    So, he went back to the mountains to confront the old man.
    He was led into a chamber of the cave where he found
    thousands of burning candles.
    The old man told him that each candle represent a person's
    life and that once the candle burns out, then it is the person's
    time to go.
    The candle of the person he was trying to heal has burned out;
    thus, it was his time to go.
    Then the old man showed him (the healer) his own candle.
    It was burning low.
    The healer took the candle on his palm and said that he's going
    to find more candles to his burning candle's life.
    The film ended on a close-up of the healer's candle burning
    on his palm while he's running out of the cave.

    During the time this film was shown, it was a critical success. πŸ™‚

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