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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Amour (2012)

Tragedy strikes an elderly couple in their 80s when the wife (Emmanuelle Riva, HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR) suffers a stroke that leaves her semi-paralyzed. Her husband (Jean Louis Trintignant) attempts to take care of her but she gets progressively worse. Winner of this year's Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes film festival, Michael Haneke's new film is potent stuff, too powerful perhaps for some as I counted five walk outs during the screening. The film is unrelentingly grim in its portrait of a vital human being deteriorating before our very eyes and everyone helpless to do anything about it. Haneke being Haneke, of course, eschews the sentimentality inherent in the material, this is no tearjerker. As cinema, it's near perfect but as someone who has actually lived through the film's situation, it's not a film I ever care to sit through again. Riva's performance is, justifiably, getting heaps of praise but Trintignant not only matches her every step of the way, he might even push past her. With Isabelle Huppert as their daughter.

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