Friday, February 8, 2013


Amour (2012) - dir. Michael Haneke
Oh this hits close to home. Having just recently experienced the death of a loved one, Michael Haneke’s Amour served as but a painful reminder. A film that I can relate with more than many can claim to. 
Amour showcases a poignantly realistic descent to death. How debilitation from illness and hardship conspire to the most heartbreaking of experiences for a family and lover. Georges and Anne, married and retired music teachers in their twilight years, have dedicated their lives to the art of music. So goes the Bard, “If music be the food of love, play on”. In a particularly memorable scene, we see these two worlds together, as Anne and Georges bear witness to a former pupil performing Schubert, their partnership and their tutelage climaxing in a beautiful piece for the ages. That this would be, in a sense, their swan song, marks the somber tone that Amour exudes. 
From the highest of highs, comes the inevitable decline. Anne suffers from a stroke. Anne simply goes silent, as though paused in time. Georges grasps her, forming one of the most beautiful stills in cinema (see above). It is the beginning of the end, and this image the last vestige of the beauty that was partnership. He wishes to hold the memory of their love for the last time.
Having experience firsthand my father’s decline in health until his passing, the weight carried by Georges I know too well. To say this film had me hanging to every interaction between Georges and Anne, their conversations, touches and fleeting glances, is an understatement. I’ve been there. What is also familiar is the great pain as the situation deteriorates, and the complications, worries and frustration that entails. Georges in a heat of anger slaps a seemingly belligerent Anne, for which it is abundantly clear that they have passed the point of no return. Their past relationship is gone, and can never be reattained.  

Amour means far more to me than words can describe. That a film can transcend the screen and reach into my life is the mark of something truly special. The Oscars race may seem locked up at this point, but this film will continue on as one of the greats from 2012. 9/10


Post a Comment