Full disclosure: I saw this film at 10:00 in the morning and I drifted off a few times. John kept elbowing me, so I’m pretty sure I saw most of the film. It was just a bit foggy.
Michael Haneke directs this film, which centers on the relationship between the elderly Georges and Anne. Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) deeply loves his wife Anne (Academy Award nominee Emmanuelle Riva), but she is slowly losing her grip on reality. The couple are in their mid-eighties and Anne is steadily becoming more and more senile. She will periodically forget who she is, where she is, who her family is, and so on. The film tells the story of Anne’s first attack and how Georges comes to deal with it. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) comes to visit, but Georges is hesitant to let her see her mother.
That is pretty much the extent of the plot. The film is not plot-driven at all. In fact, I spent a lot of the time waiting for something to happen. It is a very quiet character study of this elderly couple. And when I say quiet, I mean it is almost silent at times. The score is basically non-existent. That certainly did not help in my quest to stay awake during the movie.
Haneke is an extremely skilled director. His previous film, The White Ribbon, is probably the best foreign film I have ever seen. The problem with Amour is that it is just so dull. This movie is a prime example of why the Academy should have never expanded the Best Picture category to more than five films. There is no way Amour is Best Picture caliber. There’s no denying that it is a good film, in terms of craft, but it is nowhere near the best. I would also argue with Haneke’s nomination for Best Director, especially considering Ben Affleck got snubbed in the year when he should be the winner. Riva does a phenomenal job as Anne. There is no doubt that she deserves the Academy’s nomination for Best Actress, although I would still argue Jennifer Lawrence deserves the actual award.
I wish I had more to say about this film. Its pacing was extremely slow, but it was not a bad movie. It just was dull. There’s nothing wrong with a dull film. I simply do not have much to say about it.