Of course not just everyone is going to like this movie. Not just necessarily because of its themes but more so because of its approach. Michael Haneke movies always require a certain taste but I feel that the more 'seasoned' movie goer should always be able to appreciate his movies on at least some levels.

And it's not like I like simply everything Michael Haneke does but I still admire hie style of film-making. It's the more 'quiet' and subtle type of film-making, he makes use of. The type of film-making and storytelling that doesn't simply lays out everything for you but more or less 'forces' you to constantly keep thinking for yourself and to be involved with the events on the screen. You have to make up your own mind about- and piece certain things together for yourself, regarding certain plot developments and character's motivations.

I feel that "Amour" is also being a prefect example of this particular style of film-making, though at the same time it's also slightly more conventional and accessible than the usual Haneke outing in my opinion. Maybe it's because of its story or maybe because of its characters but it might come down to it that this movie is very easy to relate to with its themes, for just about everybody.

No, not all people who are going to watch this are in their 80's or had to deal with a dying family member, from up close. But it's more easy to relate to in the sense that it deals with some universal themes. It makes you think about your own immortality really and makes you realize nothing is going to last for ever. It's not a movie that's telling you 'getting old sucks' but one that shows you some things are just inevitable and irreversible.

Of course you could also just take this a very well layered and developed love story. People can change, your health can change, social conditions and other things around you can change as you grow older but your love for a person can always stay the same, or can keep on growing- or developing into something even bigger and stronger, which can last till death and could even transcend it.

It's a very effective movie, mainly thanks to its simplicity as well. It's pretty straightforward with its story and doesn't really feature any distractions in it. It features mostly on just its two main characters and their love and bond, which they had developed over the years. They don't tell you that but it's something you could very easily sense throughout the entire movie.

So yes, it also especially thrives on just its two main actors, played by the elderly Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Actors I literally had see for the last time in movies that were made decades ago and pretty much had disappeared off the radar (at least my radar), up until this movie. Both are excellent in their roles and they manage to handle all of the drama and emotions in a very effective and sensible way. You feel their bond and understand their reasoning and you can almost sense what they feel at times.

I still wouldn't go as far to call this movie an absolutely perfect one. One of the things that slight bothered me was that the movie was going to fast at times. Might come across as a joke, since it's a movie that's filled with some extremely long drawn out shots, in which the camera never moves or cuts away (which I loved by the way and felt was something extremely effective for this movie). But still, the story moves a bit too fast at times and it feels that it glosses over some stuff at times. I don't know, the whole way the Jean-Louis Trintignant's characters health started to suddenly decline felt a bit rushed at parts. I know things like this can happen fast in real life but I'm more talking about that this movie doesn't always show and tell you everything, regarding the character's health situation and makes some sudden jumps with it. I don't really know if the movie actually would had been a better one if it showed some more details. Maybe it would had made this movie unnecessarily sappy and would have made the drama feel too forced but I still do feel the movie could had done a bit more with it at times.

But really, this is of course not ruining the movie in any way. It remains one greatly effective and powerful movie to watch, that besides is far more accessible than you might expect, mainly thanks to its universal and timeless themes, which everybody should be able to relate with.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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