Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 8 NYFF50: Brilliant, Beautiful, Unflinching 'Amour'

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour." Photo courtesy of 50th New York Film Festival.

HERE is LOVE, folks, and Michael Haneke presents it beautifully, tenderly, frankly and masterfully.

In "Amour," which debuts at the 50th New York Film Festival tonight, Anne and Georges Laurent (French film veterans Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant) are music teachers who are in love with their craft and each other. Theirs is a full, vibrant existence until Anne suffers a stroke. Both are now confined mostly to their Paris apartment with its many creature comforts. Georges becomes caretaker and in doing so shows the world what it means to love in sickness. (See trailer below.)

There are uncomfortable moments in "Amour," making it all the more powerful. This is real life played out on the big screen. In fact, "Amour" is inspired in part by the experiences of a sick aunt of MH's. During a press conference after the press and industry screening, the director – through a translator– took pains to point out that the film is not the story of his relative. Regardless, the performances are nuanced and stellar. As difficult as things becomes at moments, viewers should not look away. Indeed, they should face them bravely, as one endeavors to do in life.

"Amour" won the Palme d'Or at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.

"Amour," which is in French with English subtitles, has an additional screening on Saturday (6 Oct) ... Visit to learn more about the 50th New York Film Festival, including show times and ticket information.

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