Amour @ The Ross

Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintingnant)

Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintingnant)

Austrian director Michael Haneke’s Oscar winning film Amour, is cold and raw, and music director’s Cecile Lenoir’s meager score intensified Haneke cinematic chill. Amour is a film that is so spare that we are strained to feel every nuance and every exasperating waking moment. Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) are old and married and in love.

Theirs is a simple compassionate love story that becomes compromised by Anne’s paralysis which eventually renders her immobile. Both Anne and Georges are retired music teachers who have cultivated a love for the arts. A joyous evening at a piano recital, a blissful ride home on the bus, and easy talk upon their arrival thereafter suggest that this couple has managed well their marriage. It is effortless. It is fluid. It is lovely; but this is just about all of the ‘romance’ the audience gets. The morning after ushers in the beginning of the end, and no matter how much Georges tries to order his and Anne’s life, control of it creeps out.

Georges and Anne are visited rarely by neighbors and occasionally by their daughter Eva (played by Isabelle Huppert). A former student of Anne’s, played with restraint by French classical pianist Alexandre Tharaud, pays the couple a visit but the conversation is quite uniform—even flat. It is obvious Alexandre is nervous to see the paralyzed hand of his former piano teacher, and Anne does nothing to put him at ease.



Cinematographer Darius Khondji emphasizes the haunting echo of Anne’s illness that seizes the ambiance of the apartment. Every inch of space in their home has surrendered to the inevitable: Anne will not get well. Yet, Jean-Louis Trintignant’s performance demands our trust that he will deliver Anne back to some semblance of the wife he has known; and we believe in him; and so does Anne.

The Ross logoAmour plays through March 7 at The Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

Abridged audio version @ 33:41

The Women Make Movies at 40 Festival, runs through March 14.

This weekend’s MetHD Live at Wagner’s Parsifal.

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters opens at The Ross on March 8.

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