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Amour (Blu-ray Review)

22 Aug, 2013 By: Angelique Flores

Sony Pictures
Box Office $6.74 million
$30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for mature thematic material including a disturbing act, and for brief language.
In French with English subtitles.
Stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert.

Love between a husband and wife isn’t always good times and laughs, but it’s during those most challenging of times that the truest of love can shine through. Such is the case with octogenarians Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), two retired music teachers in the last stage of their lives.

Their placid world of retired life and music concerts is shattered when Anne has a stroke during breakfast that leaves the right side of her body paralyzed.

Georges loves her so much that he bends over backward to care for her and make her as comfortable as he possibly can, from dressing her and doing her stretching exercises to helping her in the bathroom. Anne loves Georges so much that she can’t bear the guilt of being a huge burden to him.

Their sweet and loving conversations and time together evolves into tension and fear. Things only get worse when Anne has a second stroke.

No doubt this movie is a heart-wrenching downer, but Trintignant and Riva are superb in their performances, often expressing more in their eyes than in their dialogue. While the two venerated French actors largely carry the film, they are supported by another renowned French actress Isabelle Huppert, who plays their daughter.

The film deservedly earned five Academy Award nominations, winning Best Foreign-Language Film. The 85-year-old Riva was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, the oldest woman to receive such an honor.

The extras include a typical making-of featurette and a Q&A with director and writer Michael Haneke, which is more interesting as a look at the director and his body of work rather than on his work on Amour.

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