Amour – review and trailer

Watch the Amour trailer and read the Time Out film review

Amour trailer

Michael Haneke discusses Amour

Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke can fairly claim to be one of cinema’s greatest living directors – and his reputation is set to soar higher still this autumn among the artier echelons of London’s filmgoers.

In May, the 70-year-old director scooped the Palme d’Or at Cannes for ‘Amour’, his devastating new drama about an elderly couple in Paris dealing with old age and illness (played by French acting legends Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant). Just three years ago, Haneke won the same prize for ‘The White Ribbon’ – making him the only filmmaker to win the coveted award for two consecutive films in such quick succession.

In the end, ‘The White Ribbon’ proved too austere a film for the Oscars (many felt it was robbed in 2010 when the Argentinian thriller ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ won Best Foreign Language Film) but ‘Amour’ is shaping up as an early frontrunner at next year’s awards.

In Cannes, a few days before being awarded his Palme d’Or, Haneke explained to Time Out how he based his film on a simple question: ‘How do you cope with the suffering of loved ones?’

‘Amour’ is a tender but unflinching portrait of the horrors and indignities of impending death, and it deals with its subject with immense intelligence and empathy. Haneke faces up to the realities of sickness, but his mission is not simply to present a realistic portrait of the end, even though that's part of the process. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt on both sides by this couple – pride, despair, loss, empathy and its limits.

‘It would have been easy to exploit the sentimentality of this situation and manipulate the audience,’ Haneke argued. ‘But that would have been ruinous for this film. It’s important to respect the dignity of the characters you’re showing.’

Time Out is thrilled to be presenting ‘Amour’ as the Time Out Special Screening at this year’s London Film Festival in October before it arrives in cinemas on November 16.

Read Time Out's review of 'Amour'

More Michael Haneke films

  • The White Ribbon

    Rating: 5/5

    A sombre, roving drama that recreates the rituals of a rural Protestant community and imagines the private lives of its householders as the guns were being primed on the Western Front.

    Read 'The White Ribbon' review

  • Funny Games

    Rating: 5/5

    Haneke’s original saw a holidaying bourgeois family marauded by a pair of affectless young sociopaths. This new version adds nothing novel, but it lacks none of the original’s bite.

    Read 'Funny Games' review

  • Hidden

    Rating: 5/5

    A smart marriage of the thriller genre with a compendium of strong ideas about guilt, racism, recent French history and cinema itself, Michael Haneke’s eighth feature is an unsettling, self-reflective masterpiece.

    Read 'Hidden' review