Amour is a masterpiece in its simplest form. The minimalistic direction produces a clear cut message – this is love and what it demands, this is life and you and everyone you know will eventually die.
Most of the film takes place in the couple’s apartment with shots of every room. As a result, the audience becomes familiar with the characters’ surroundings and see the film from their perspective.
The acting is superb. Emmanuelle Riva is exceptional as Anne. While her body withers away due to her illness, you can still see a sharp mind through her eyes. She is aware of the physical and psychological demands of her condition and does not want to burden her husband.
Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) does everything he can to take care of his wife. Here, the film doesn’t exploit Anne’s condition for shock value and melodrama. The director shows it with privacy and dignity, making the film honest and affecting in portraying Anne’s decline.
The opening of the film already tells you what will happen, and the rest of the film serves as an explanation. When it finally ends, the apartment’s somber hues are finally lit up. As their daughter walks into the empty apartment the film reminds us of the inevitability of death. We must accept our own just as we have accepted the loss of its characters.
Amour has a simplistic narrative that’s hard to watch. It’s a film that you’re probably only going to see once. But it’s a gut-punching movie that needs to be made.
Amour is like a simple yet powerful painting that upon reflection, makes you think about life, love, and your own inescapable mortality.