We go to the movies to be entertained. And Amour is entertaining, sort of. A new film by director Michael Haneke, it received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and has been nominated for five academy awards, including best movie. It is the story of a vibrant elderly French couple, Georges and Anne, whose lives are dramatically changed when Anne suffers a debilitating stroke. We know how this story is going to end. We witness Anne’s decline with all its indignities. Yet Amour is a beautiful love story.
It is a long movie and, except for the opening scene, takes place entirely in the couple’s apartment. But the plot twists and turns and the film never loses momentum.
What makes this movie compelling is that it could become our story at any moment. But like Georges, who explains to their daughter Eva, that “we’ve always coped, your mother and I,” we hope that we will be able to handle whatever happens with the same grace and dignity.
Amour is difficult to watch. I had tissues clutched in my fist because I was prepared to weep, but I never used them.
It wasn’t sad.