Palme d’Or, Best Film, Cannes Film Festival 2012. Veteran French stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are unforgettable in Austrian director Michael Haneke’s tender, wrenching story of love and death.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
From the moment of its first Cannes screening the world’s critics knew they had seen the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or.
“Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s Amour is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veterans Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. The director of Hidden and The White Ribbon offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turning point in their lives…
Haneke explodes the myth of death as a public event, something to share, something around which to weep and emote. Here, death creates a fortress, and it feels piercingly true. He faces the realities of sickness – washing, mobility, going to the toilet – but his mission is not simply to present a realistic portrait of the end, even though that’s part of the process. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt on both sides by this couple – pride, despair, impending loss, empathy and its limits. There are strong emotions at play, but also an intense pragmatism… Among so many other things, this is a film about loyalty and being true to your word right to the very end. Amour is a devastating, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece.” — Dave Calhoun, Time Out