Nominated for 5 Oscars:
Best Director: Michael Haneke
Best Foreign Language Film (Austria) (WINNER)
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva
Best Original Screenplay
This was the perfect film to start the series of Oscar nominees for this year. This blog is all about films with Oscar nominations, so each will get a bit of writing - films that I've seen throughout the year or (again) recently. So I catched up with Amour again the other night, also because I am writing about the Best Actress nominees for the other blog. It's still feels like such a great film, and it's among my favorites for 2012 so far, if not THE best one.
What I appreciated more the 2nd time around is how well the film is directed. Haneke is one of the best directors of the past decade and I'm happy he finally made a film that's a bit more accessible to the public. Sure, Amour is heartbreaking and not always easy to watch, but it's his most mature work, from what I can tell. Emmanuelle Riva is an actress-lover's dream; her performance is pure European realism and there isn't much else to say; so raw, so effective, so heartbreaking. Jean-Louis Trintignant is almost just as good (I know him because his 1966's film A Man and a Woman is one of my alltime favorites; strange to see him in a role 46 years later, looking completely different). As great as he is, my eyes were on her all the time.
It's not a film for everyone's taste. But it definitely left a strong impression on me. If there's any fault to find is a bit in the screenplay, that doesn't always find a balance - or simply I would've liked it to focus less on Miss Huppert (who is however GREAT playing the daughter) and more on the emotional struggle of the characters (yes, even MORE). Scenes like the ones with the pigeon are so so beautiful. Haneke does a fabulous job not only directing his actors, but also on the technical aspects: the cinematography is quite special, never claustrophobic, and the Paris apartment is so beautifully constructed.
My rating for the film: 9/10. It could easily be a 9.5. Just like The Tree of Life, it firstly needs to be seen with the soul, if that makes any sense.