“I try to limit myself to only two posts per day, but I’m gonna try and push thru one more. I’m starting to think I’m a jinx for the Pats (the last game I watched was the Superbowl last year) so I’d better focus my attentions elsewhere while there’s still time.

On the surface, Amour is not something I would typically want to go see. However, it’s Oscar season, so all bets are off. With this, I’ve seen pretty much everything that matters: all of the “”above the line”” nominees, and anything that’s up for multiple awards. The couple I’m missing are minor, unlikely to win and/or categories I don’t pay as much attention to. On the one hand, part of the mentality when I saw it rack up so many nominations was “”ugh, do I have to?””. On the other, writer/director Michael Haneke is the same dude behind Funny Games. Now, I certainly didn’t expect Amour to have much in common with that film, but the possibility still excited me.

There actually were few echoes of Haneke’s haunting style, if you knew what you were looking for. A few jolting and jarring images and an uneasy feeling at times. But the overall feel was that this movie was just so heartbreaking. Amour really is a good title because this film really was about love. After being married for God knows how many years, Georges is left to deal with Anne’s quickly deteriorating health. Almost the entire film takes place in the few rooms of their apartment, as Anne struggles to come to terms with her condition while Georges cares for her.

Whole lotta thoughts and emotions running thru my head as I watched this film. The prominent thought at first was about whose position I would rather be in. For most of the film, it was Georges no contest, for two reasons. One, is that I’m a very independent person, and I hate the thought of being an inconvenience to anyone. Second, is that I really am a caretaker type. If someone close to me is sick, my instinct is to run over with soup and a stack of movies. I would not hesitate to take on the same responsabilities as Georges for someone whom I love as much as he loves Anne. But then as the film when on, and Anne got worse, I couldn’t help but think how awful it would be to see a loved one in that state. Before that got too unbearable, my thoughts shifted. My grandpa suffered a stroke when I was in junior high. The way that Anne portrayed many of the same conditions he had was spot on, uncomfortably so. So many less than happy memories just came rushing back, although it was interesting to see from a different perspective.

I did have some issues with how things played out. The timeline made a buch of jarring jumps ahead, and I was left trying to figure out how we got there. I feel like there were a lot of little blanks that I spent a bit too much effort trying to fill in. There was also a point where you kinda know that things aren’t going to get any better and Anne must not have much time left, but there running time of the movie says otherwise.

What was incredible was the acting. Emmanuelle Riva scored a very much deserved Best Actress nomination for her work as Anne. Truly incredible performance. She plays the character with such fire, between her anger and stuborness and frustration. But she also had some amazing physicality. Our Georges, Jean-Louis Trintignant, isn’t getting as much attention, but he should be. He was the real heart of the movie as we see most of it thru his eyes. He’s the one trying to hold everything together, and while he’s experiencing many of the same emotions as Anne (albeit from a different perspective) he’s forced to suppress them for her wellbeing.

Part of me is happy that my Academy Award obsession drove me to watch this film. At the same time, damn is it emotionally draining. Not the easiest film to watch, but it’s certainly more affecting than most of what’s out there right now

Amour – \m/ \m/ \m/

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