Movie Review: In love with AmourFebruary 18th, 2013 at 8:02 am by Stephanie Cooke under THRS Movie Reviews
Click Here to watch the trailer for AMOUR.
Even though Amour has been out for awhile and is nominated for more than one Oscar at this Sunday’s Academy Awards, it only just opened in Hampton Roads this weekend… and of course I couldn’t wait to see it!
The story itself is simple. An elderly couple of, at one time, some distinction are living out the remainder of their lives in an apartment in France… alone.
((If you don’t know already, I should mention this is a French film — with subtitles.But pay it no mind… The acting is so deliberate that so much of this film doesn’t even depend on what they are saying… the subtitles become second nature to the love story.)) But this is not a love story for wimps.
In the beginning, something is going on with Anne (played bravely by Emmanuelle Riva)… George (played heroically by Jean-Louis Trintignant) can’t get a response from her. He rushes to get dressed to get help, and then… She is amazingly fine.
They slowly come to grips with her health challenges — stroke after stroke, paralyzed right side of her body. She refuses hospital care. He refuses to give up caring for her, even when it comes to the point when he knows he can’t. She wants to die….
I won’t give away the ending… but it’s brave, heroic, heartbreaking, and triumphant. The acting is first rate, and Riva so deserves the Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Anne.
But let me talk about the direction. I found it just stunning. The choices for shots, the choices in the lengths of the shots, the camera angles — all of it plays so well. I never would have imagined a simple camera shot could make me — the viewer, sitting in the audience half a world away from where this was filmed or supposed to have taken place – feel more like I was part of the story… I could feel the emptiness of the characters and their lives as it developed.
Amour is utterly wrenching and for a Valentine’s weekend, there wasn’t a better choice of a heart-breaking love-story to be viewed in Hampton Roads.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE COOKIES
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including a disturbing act, and for brief language.
Now playing at Naro Expanded Cinema - 1507 Colley Avenue, Norfolk, VA.