This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

19Dec/12

AMOUR

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play a married couple facing tragedy in Michael Haneke’s brilliant AMOUR

AMOUR (Michael Haneke, 2012)
Film Forum
209 West Houston St.
Opens Wednesday, December 19
212-727-8110
www.sonyclassics.com/amour
www.filmforum.org

Legendary French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant puts an exclamation point on his long, distinguished career with Amour, one of the most beautiful love stories ever told. In his first film in nearly a decade, Trintignant, the star of such classics as Z, My Night at Maud’s, A Man and a Woman, and The Conformist, plays Georges, an octogenarian who is immediately concerned when his wife, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), suddenly freezes for a few moments, unable to speak, hear, move, or recognize anything. So begins a downward spiral in which Georges takes care of his ailing wife by himself, refusing help from his daughter, Eva (Isabelle Huppert), as he faces the grim situation with grace and dignity. A genuine romance for the ages, Amour is brilliantly written and directed by Michael Haneke, earning the German filmmaker his second Palme d’Or, following 2009’s The White Ribbon. Haneke (Cache, The Piano Teacher) and cinematographer Darius Khondji allow the heartbreaking tale to unfold in long interior shots with very little camera movement, spread across more than two hours. Despite its length, the film is far from torturous; instead, it is filled with quietly beautiful moments. Trintignant, who just turned eighty-two, is magnificent as Georges, his every physical movement and eye glance rendered with powerful yet gentle emotions, whether he’s preparing food for Anne or trying to catch a bird that has flown into the apartment. It’s an unforgettable performance in an unforgettable film.

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