Thursday, May 26, 2016

Amour (2012)

Cannes Film Festival 2012

Palme d'Or
Michael Haneke

Academy Awards, USA 2013

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Stefan Arndt
Margaret Ménégoz
Veit Heiduschka
Michael Katz
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Emmanuelle Riva
Best Achievement in Directing
Michael Haneke
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke

Sony Pictures Classics
Directed by Michael Haneke
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
(Blu-ray, Sony)

An elderly Parisian couple, retired piano teachers, live in a small apartment and actively participate in the city's classical events. One morning at breakfast his wife suffers a stroke. At first it seems as if she will be unaffected, but an operation leaves her paralyzed on her right side. She becomes more and more dependent on him for her daily life. More strokes leave her bedridden and unable to speak. Fulfilling a promise not to put her away in a hospital or hospice, he hires nurses to help take care of her. As her health continues to deteriorate, her personality disappears and she lives in almost constant pain. This forces him to make a drastic decision. Haneke's matter-of-fact treatment of her deteriorating condition almost seems like an invasion of privacy.  It might work as a training film for caretakers, or as a depressing glimpse as to what we all might expect in our last few years. Exquisitely acted, but it would be hard to call this entertainment.

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