Amour - Blu-ray Review

'almost as if Haneke's very narrative has become infected with his subject, groaning under the tired weight of producing something about life's geriatric realities'

The drastically underwhelming Amour felt to me to be less revolution, more capitulation by director Michael Haneke, as his previous on-screen smarts wither and recede into the sort of late-age malaise depicted in his film. In making a movie about old age, it is almost as if Haneke's very narrative has become infected with his subject, groaning under the tired weight of producing something about life's geriatric realities.

As Emmanuelle Riva's Anne withers away from Jean-Louis Trintignant's Georges, there is plenty of feeling and an occasional heartbeat to the film which draws in tragedy and touching feelings of loss and inevitable decline. As a picture of old age, it feels honest and morally certain, and some complex issues are addressed.

But, if that sounds cold, then it is only a reflection of the lack of warmth - visual or otherwise - that Amour conveys. Yes, Haneke deals with something many other auteurs would not, but does he deal with it any way other than the expected? I would suggest not. This is old age on film, painted by numbers, on a dot-to-dot portrait.

The finale and the opening - both shocking, uncertain: Haneke in strong territory - hint that there could have been more here, but somewhere along the way they get lost in mundanity. Family arguments, seeing old friends, practicalities we know are realities but prefer not to think about: Haneke forces us into conflict with old age for over two hours but gives us little many people who have experience loss or old age in some way will be unfamiliar with.

We know old age is hard, that the realities of life are difficult, that those left behind in death have so much still to face. Can we not say something more about it than Haneke says here?

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.


  1. Wow, most critics really liked it.

    1. Yeah, most Academy voters too by all accounts. Personally think I've seen much better, more inventive depictions of old age. About Schmidt, for instance. Though that doesn't have the occasional frank starkness of this.

    2. I plan on watching it this week. I'll let you know if I agree it was over-hyped.

    3. Yeah, definitely do! Be interested to know what you thought.

    4. I liked it actually. The tone with that particular subject matter was pretty original and I liked the fact it was a break from the nonstop action and special effects movies that are being released so frequently. However, I do like those also. I'd probably give it closer to a 4 out of 5 because I felt it had artistic merit, a nice, slow and steady build to the climax(which was shocking but a well done scene), and the way the ending was left open to interpretation was creative.

    5. Cool, well, glad you got more out of it than I Joe! Know what you mean about blockbusters and I feel the same but this 'quiet' one just wasn't one for me.