Amour (12A)

Film

Drama

Amour_03.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 13 2012

Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.

The Austrian director of ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Ribbon’ offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat, right at the start, is at the theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future.

He asks hard questions: what do love and companionship mean when one half of a couple is facing the end? How can we cope? What’s the right way to behave? Can anyone else understand what you’re going through? Is life always worth living? What role, if any, do kindness and compassion play? And what do those words even mean in extreme circumstances?

A winter light and a sense of half-dark, fading afternoons pervade the film. Our only glimpses of the outdoors are seen through the windows of the flat. This is a drama played out under grey clouds. There’s no storm, just gradual changes from one day, week or month to the next. There are hints of threats from the outside. The film opens with a door being broken down; the lock is damaged in an attempted burglary. And Georges dreams of being attacked outside in a flooded corridor. But these are reminders that the real threat is from within: lives are changing, and so too are the meanings of love, intimacy and kindness.

Haneke rejects the idea of death as a communal experience and presents the slow act of dying as intensely isolating. Georges and Anne’s daughter (Isabelle Huppert) and son-in-law (William Shimell) come to visit, but their own feelings and experiences are less and less connected to what’s happening in this apartment. Death creates a fortress, and it feels piercingly true.

Haneke presents the stark realities of sickness – problems of washing, mobility, going to the toilet – but his aim is not solely to present a realistic portrait of the end. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt by this couple – pride, despair, impending loss, empathy and its limits. There are strong feelings at play, but there’s also an intense pragmatism afoot. Georges has made a pledge to Anne: ‘Please never take me back to the hospital… Promise… Promise me.’ Among so many other things, this is a film about loyalty and being true to your word. ‘Amour’ is a staggering, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Nov 16, 2012

Duration:

127 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:9
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|44
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Pat Hatwell

The movie's love story was beautiful... I see it as he sealed off the room, opened the windows to let out the fumes of the dead body so that no one would come to check before he died...and then he laid in his bed and she comes for him, they continue a usual routine of washing up and going out and he then dies...

Pat Hatwell

The movie's love story was beautiful... I see it as he sealed off the room, opened the windows to let out the fumes of the dead body so that no one would come to check before he died...and then he laid in his bed and she comes for him, they continue a usual routine of washing up and going out and he then dies...

Nailah

I loved the intrigue; however, I was not surprised that he took his wife out of her misery. Maybe that was a testament to "true" love. We all have to die, eventually; and the fact that it was imminent may have made it easier. I also like the fact that the viewer was left guessing as to what happened to the husband. There were some things that I didn't understand, such as the paintings....something else to "think" about. Overall, I truly enjoyed it. Great film..

srinath

a masterpiece from the director, and the performances are excellent. great screenplay. director's maturity is seen in the entire film. Bravo Micheal Haneke. Those who like Satyajit Ray, Roman Polanski must see. very powerful ending.

srinath

a masterpiece from the director, and the performances are excellent. great screenplay. director's maturity is seen in the entire film. Bravo Micheal Haneke. Those who like Satyajit Ray, Roman Polanski must see. very powerful ending.

DRF

Wonderful film. Thought provoking, I believe Georges committed suicide and he was writing a suicide note. He could not bare to live without her, classic Romeo and Juliet. The hint that he died was in the first scene with the smell and the windows. She was in a sealed room with the windows open, the smell could not permeate the apartment, yet the apartment smelled awful anyway. It was Georges decomposing body. Of course, when the daughter returned, the apartment was bare, they were both gone. I am not quite sure I understand the capture and release of the pigeon, any thoughts anyone?

DRF

Wonderful film. Thought provoking, I believe Georges committed suicide and he was writing a suicide note. He could not bare to live without her, classic Romeo and Juliet. The hint that he died was in the first scene with the smell and the windows. She was in a sealed room with the windows open, the smell could not permeate the apartment, yet the apartment smelled awful anyway. It was Georges decomposing body. Of course, when the daughter returned, the apartment was bare, they were both gone. I am not quite sure I understand the capture and release of the pigeon, any thoughts anyone?

Fredphoesh

Fantastic and powerful movie BUT I did not like the way it ended. It was uncharacteristically sentimental... perhaps to give it a slightly nicer-than-bleak tone? Why else would the director want us to believe that after he kills himself (WTF happens to his body???) he and she are re-united in the "afterlife". Hmmm. Sweet, but irrelevant and superstitious speculation at best. The missing body, or the fact it was not alluded to at first, seems like an unnecessary and contrived ploy "to make us wonder". So it looses one star and deserves no more than 4/5.

Godfrey H

Dave Calhoun has got it absolutely right: "staggering, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece." Although he misses something with this statement: "Our only glimpses of the outdoors are seen through the windows of the flat. This is a drama played out under grey clouds. There’s no storm, just gradual changes from one day, week or month to the next." We in fact get more than a glimpse of the outdoors, via the medium of the paintings which hang on the walls of the aprtment and which obviously have been acquired over a lifetime together - one of the earliest expressions of Georges' fear concerns a neighbor whose apartment was burgled, the paintings cut from their frames. As, in a sense, Anne is being gradually removed from Haneke's framing of the story. At one moment, Haneke chooses to cut together a montage of the paintings in close up. Beautiful and evocative, even mesmerising, the paintings are all landscapes and are dominated by deep and storm-cloud laden skies that, collectively, evoke the gathering storm in Georges and Anne's lives which Calhoun mentions. A deeply moving and unforgettable film, for *real* grown-ups.

Godfrey H

Dave Calhoun has got it absolutely right: "staggering, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece." Although he misses something with this statement: "Our only glimpses of the outdoors are seen through the windows of the flat. This is a drama played out under grey clouds. There’s no storm, just gradual changes from one day, week or month to the next." We in fact get more than a glimpse of the outdoors, via the medium of the paintings which hang on the walls of the aprtment and which obviously have been acquired over a lifetime together - one of the earliest expressions of Georges' fear concerns a neighbor whose apartment was burgled, the paintings cut from their frames. As, in a sense, Anne is being gradually removed from Haneke's framing of the story. At one moment, Haneke chooses to cut together a montage of the paintings in close up. Beautiful and evocative, even mesmerising, the paintings are all landscapes and are dominated by deep and storm-cloud laden skies that, collectively, evoke the gathering storm in Georges and Anne's lives which Calhoun mentions. A deeply moving and unforgettable film, for *real* grown-ups.

hannah

I am so confused with the ending as well. Did he die? or did he just disappear??? please someone help explain what happened to Georges?!?!

satyajitraju

great movie ............. feelings in this movie speachless ......i have never seen such a great movie in my life ..........hats offffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

satyajitraju

great movie ............. feelings in this movie speachless ......i have never seen such a great movie in my life ..........hats offffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

DoigtdePoisson

Wonderful actors. Beautiful, yet intentionally (and unsurprisingly) disturbing, love story with at times very moving and tender moments; but also some seriously ice-cold clinical ones, especially when peripheral characters appear - reinforcing the sense of isolation and other-wordly estrangement of the two main characters. Needless to say it raises important and uncomfortable questions regarding the treatment (or rather scientifically-managed processing) of end of life in modern societies. Somehow (in my modest opinion) the movie lacks a tiny little supplément d’âme to reach masterpiece status, but it is precisely perhaps the virtue of its imperfections to provide its viewers with ample space to meditate on their personal experiences. This movie will age well.

pete

herrlich zermuerbend und doch befreiend. grosses kino mit viel substanz

pete

herrlich zermuerbend und doch befreiend. grosses kino mit viel substanz

Bianca

I'm with steve ^^^^ somebody please explain the ending to me, i really liked the film and need to know what just happened !?

Bianca

I'm with steve ^^^^ somebody please explain the ending to me, i really liked the film and need to know what just happened !?

Ricky Thompson

An incredibly boring movie. It starts off interestingly enough then just flatlines. Halfway through my mind began to wander and I realised that it was a 'portrait' movie. I also then realised that a) movies should never be portraits because b) portrait movies are dull and essentially anti-movie. A little after these realisations the movie showed a series of painted scenic portraits. Subtle. Not so much.

Sue Stapely

One of the most intelligent, moving and thought-provoking films I've seen with beautifully-observed performances. A powerful reason for a change in our law to permit self determination and physician-assisted suicide. Join Dignity in Dying and make a Living Will

Sue Stapely

One of the most intelligent, moving and thought-provoking films I've seen with beautifully-observed performances. A powerful reason for a change in our law to permit self determination and physician-assisted suicide. Join Dignity in Dying and make a Living Will

Peter Ludbrook

I thought this was a terrific movie, possibly the best I've seen this year. The acting was superb and I liked the muted colour palette of the photography. Haneke's restraint made the film more moving and made the most shocking scene in the film even more powerful. I think that anyone who has suffered personal loss will find that this film strikes very personal resonances.

Peter Ludbrook

I thought this was a terrific movie, possibly the best I've seen this year. The acting was superb and I liked the muted colour palette of the photography. Haneke's restraint made the film more moving and made the most shocking scene in the film even more powerful. I think that anyone who has suffered personal loss will find that this film strikes very personal resonances.

Jackie D

I was often moved during the film, however, I kept thinking that there was something amiss. It would have made it more interesting to add a severely disabled character (physical struggles from birth, and not just when approaching death, or after an accident), to add perspective and psychological contrast, if that is what Haneke would wish to inspire?

john o sullivan

In defence of Phil Ince.. i hardly ever agree with his opinions but they are amusing...anyone for free speech ??

Mahavishnu

Please, Phil Ince, there must be a Moron Movie Site for you to infest. Olease go away from this one, youidiot.

Mahavishnu

Please, Phil Ince, there must be a Moron Movie Site for you to infest. Olease go away from this one, youidiot.

Maria

This is NOT a film, this is real life... Touching to the deepest bone and breathing to my last drop of lung strength !!!

Maria

This is NOT a film, this is real life... Touching to the deepest bone and breathing to my last drop of lung strength !!!

Steve

Will someone explain the ending? Is he charged with murder? I thought he might be taping the apt. to gas himself. Where does he go? For such an intricately detailed movie, leaving the ending so wide open doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. To me this was a geriatric version of "Open Water". Still giving it 5 stars but need the ending explained.

Steve

Will someone explain the ending? Is he charged with murder? I thought he might be taping the apt. to gas himself. Where does he go? For such an intricately detailed movie, leaving the ending so wide open doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. To me this was a geriatric version of "Open Water". Still giving it 5 stars but need the ending explained.

James

Well acted - even a pigeon deserved an Oscar - well shot and extremely accurate in relaying illness and death. For those who like their films to be uplifting - this isn't for you. Oh, and forget there being any happy ending! I left feeling that I don't want to get old . . . the conversation with 'er indoors also dried up over our post film Chinese meal.

Jamie

I am a 70-plus film lover and I and the Missis, along with two other companions of similar age, went to see the film. We had all seen Haneke's previous movies and knew what to expect. It was a devastating experience of old age, sickness, marriage and death. Still we did half a good larf later about suffocating each other with pillows when the time came.

Jamie

I am a 70-plus film lover and I and the Missis, along with two other companions of similar age, went to see the film. We had all seen Haneke's previous movies and knew what to expect. It was a devastating experience of old age, sickness, marriage and death. Still we did half a good larf later about suffocating each other with pillows when the time came.

Marek

This film is a very well made one, with fine acting and fine direction. It asks some very deep and very searching questions. However, it is a film that leaves you gasping in admiration for everyone involved in making the film, but it is not one to make the heart beat faster.

M. Wenzl

@AG No, you're wrong. Michael Haneke is Austrian. He was born in Munich but he is not German. He grew up in Wiener Neustadt and studied (and lives) in Vienna.

M. Wenzl

@AG No, you're wrong. Michael Haneke is Austrian. He was born in Munich but he is not German. He grew up in Wiener Neustadt and studied (and lives) in Vienna.

john o sullivan

The screening i attended there were numerous walkouts...and as much as i admire the artistry of his film making and his ability to get great performances from his acting Haneke leaves me cold Has there ever been a like able character in any of his film certainly from the Seventh continent to Amour i'm struggling to think of one yes a great film but not one to leave you skipping into the night

Rococo the raccoon

Firstly, have to say this is incredibly well made and acted, but is it innovative cinema? Personally i knew what to expect going in from what I'd read and hanekes previous films and got exactly what I'd expected. Holy Motors was a far more innovative film with fresh perspectives on love and death and should have won the palm d'or. Having been a carer for many years I just felt it dwelled on the negatives, there was a lack of the everyday humour that gets you through which seemed inauthentic. Haneke, whose cinema if often that of the ordeal chooses instead to eschew all good humour and focus resolutely on the terror of ageing, ultimately he also seems to endorse euthanasia. This is a film by a director who is scared of ageing, the debilatative nature of it and its a negative view of old age. Old age here is something that should be snuffed out as its too hard. It's really not an affirming picture of humanity in my view, although doubtless others will think the contrary. My advice is watch holy motors on curzon on demand instead!