Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Amour (2013) ****

PG-13, 127 min.
Director/Writer: Michael Haneke
Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert

Death is awful. That’s too kind. It fucking sucks. I apologize for my language. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I use foul language sparingly. For this subject it’s appropriate to capture my anger over this subject.

I lost my father to cancer two and a half years ago, and I’m still angry. I don’t express my anger over it much, but it’s there. There’s nothing nice about death. People say that it was good that someone might die this way or that way, but that’s just a coping mechanism. The reason we need those is because death is nearly as awful for the survivors as it is for the dead. In some ways it’s worse for the living because it goes on.

My father said that he was ready in the end, and I’m sure he was; but I’ve no doubt he must’ve gone through the anger at some point at least internally. The woman in this movie is quite angry about her condition. Death is a big “Fuck you!” to life, because there’s nothing you can do about it. That goes against everything life is about, and there isn’t anything or anyone to even be mad at. It’s a fact of life. Shit.


“Amour” begins with two break ins into the home of an elderly French couple. The first is the police breaking into the apartment to find the woman’s tenderly displayed corpse. Then the film flashes back to a night at the opera. When the couple returns home they find someone has broken the lock on their door. Death has broken into the home of their lives as the woman soon suffers a stroke. The film then takes us through the final stages of her life as her husband cares for her in their home. It’s awful.

I can only praise the film for how well it depicts this process that so many of us have to go through when a loved one comes to the end of their days. However, I can hardly recommend it. Death is a miserable experience, and this movie knows it. It so accurately recreates it that I felt like I’d gone through my father’s death again. I don’t know what else to say. It’s an amazing movie and an awful experience.

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