Amour [DVD Review]

Amour

A man's love for his wife, even as her health is rapidly declining, is the premise of Amour.

Georges and Anne (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) have been together for what appears to be a lifetime. They have a daughter who almost never visits them, but they are very happy being together, shopping together, and spending all of their time in each other's company.

Anne, a former piano teacher, takes great pride in seeing one her students perform in concert, who then pays her a visit at home. Then Anne starts getting ill, a slow progression of paralysis, followed by being confined to a wheelchair, to eventually being bedridden. Through all of her illness, Georges is there for her and caters to her every need, never complaining about it. He feeds her, bathes her, and changes her nappy. Gradually Anne loses all functions, and it is up George, who is also getting older having to deal with his wife's illness, to cope as best he can, no matter what each day brings.

Riva is devastating as the woman who is slowly dying, graceful in her husband's care as she deteriorates. Whilst Amour shows her gradually getting sicker and sicker, it is Riva's facial expressions and the emotions in her eyes that show us what she is going through. It is a wonder to me how this performance was overlooked for the Best Actress Oscar, instead going to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. The consolation is that Riva took home the BAFTA. Trintignant is also devastating as the husband who has taken on the role of mother and carer to his wife. He throttles on day to day and does his duty, a loving husband until the very end.

Michael Haneke has directed a moving tribute to a couple who love each other dearly, and to a man who will take care of his wife whatever it takes.

Amour is now out on DVD.