It’s Oscar® week, so it seems fitting that the latest Michael Haneke (‘The White Ribbon’, ‘Funny Games’) film is gaining new interest. 'Amour' is the dark horse contender in the 85th Academy Award nominations listed in the Best Director, Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Foreign Film categories. The film has received a Palme d’Or and a Golden Globe award too. Haneke is well-known for his dreary and unsettling style, and ‘Amour’ carries some of his signature, but entices the audience with the most endearing and intelligent narrative to date.
The story follows an elderly couple, Anne and Georges, who are retired music teachers living a complacent and monotonous life. After attending one of Anne’s former student’s performances she struggles through a health scare that confines Georges to confront a weighty promise. Haneke crafts an elegant dialogue that exposes the uncertainty and devotion that the couple experiences in everyday life – and even after. The idea of hope, circumstance and love moves the narrative forward – which is at the core of ‘Amour’.
Emmanuelle Riva is absolutely breathtaking as Anne. She is an astute and strong woman accepting to age with grace instead of sorrow. Jean-Louis Trintignant, returning to the screen after a 14-year absence, is a wonderful Georges delivering a moving performance from beginning to end. They are a great compliment to each other in the film.
‘Amour’ is an outstanding story posing the crucial question of love and the film is another great addition to Haneke’s incredible body of work. A fitting winner to watch out for on Oscar® Sunday.
The film is currently playing at the Film Forum