I had been wanting to see Austrian auteur Michael Haneke's 'Amour' for a while now, ever since it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes back in May. The movie awards season has begun and already, the movie has been stacking up on awards. Emmanuelle Riva, the lead actress, has been singled out for her sublime portrait of the distaff half of an elderly couple living in Paris. We initially see her still vital and enjoying her comfortable life with her loving husband but as the movie progress, we witness her character succumb to old age and the emotional toils of this on her devoted and devastated husband. However, the movie is not simply about the inevitable physical decline that we all face should we be lucky enough to reach a certain age but rather, the movie lives up to its title in the way that we see two elderly people who have been in love for a very long time and continue to be in love with each other right up til the end.
Needless to say, the movie moved to tears on more than one occasion. I knew that I would be affected by this film and I think that that might have been why I was so drawn to this movie. I wanted to be overwhelmed and I wanted release; an experience that would remove me from my immediate circumstances.
There is a lot of Oscar buzz for Madame Riva. She has already won best actress awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critic and the European Film Awards. If she gets nominated for an Academy Award next month, she will become the oldest acting nominee ever, at the age of 85. This is all very exciting, especially considering her long, glorious career. After all, she was the leading lady of the 1959 French New Wave classic 'Hiroshima, Mon Amour'. For her to be nominated in over five decades after starring in that cinematic landmark would be a real testament to the view that talent cannot be withered by age. Similarly, the movie's male lead is Jean-Louis Trintignant, the star of such classics as 'And God Created Woman' and 'A Man and A Woman', gives a phenomenal performance that is equally worthy of award recognition. Emotionally rich and intelligent drama does not get much better than this - c'est magnifique!