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Movie review: Amour by Rashid Irani

  • Amour is a French drama written and directed by the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke.

    Amour is a French drama written and directed by the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert.

  • The film was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Palme d'Or.

    The film was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Palme d'Or.

  • The daughter comes back.

    The daughter comes back.

  • The narrative focuses on an elderly couple, Anne and Georges.

    The narrative focuses on an elderly couple, Anne and Georges, who are retired music teachers with a daughter who lives abroad.

  • Subtle humour.

    Subtle humour.

  • At the age of 85, Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest nominee for the Best Actress in a Leading Role.

    At the age of 85, Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest nominee for the Best Actress in a Leading Role.

An unflinching depiction of the agony faced by an octogenarian couple, Amour is one of the most compassionate films about ageing ever made. Austrian auteur Michael Haneke, whose earlier films include The Piano Teacher and Hidden, chronicles the tale of a retired music teacher (Riva) who’s partly paralysed after a stroke. As her deterioration continues, her stoic husband (Trintignant) struggles to cope with the situation.

Without a trace of sentimentality, Haneke details the sacrifices they make for each other leading up to one final anguished decision which is handled with great tact. Save for an early scene at a piano recital, the film takes place within the couple’s Parisian apartment.

The unadorned visual style and deliberate pacing accentuate the mounting dread.

French cinema legends Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour) and Jean-Louis Trintignant (A Man and a Woman) -- both now in their eighties – deliver nuanced performances.

Simply put, Amour (accorded a belated and limited release only) is unmissable.

 

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