Last night I took a trip to the charming local art house cinema to see Amour. I was very excited as it was my first trip to the movies here. It felt lovely to be transformed from New England to the heart of Paris for a couple of hours. The movie, I’m sure you have heard, does not deal with the most pleasant topic, but its setting and language make up for its morbidity. Or perhaps I was just craving some European-ness. I am not very aware of the director Michael Haneke but I am told that his films are known for their bleak and disturbing style. I look forward to watching The White Ribbon or The Piano Teacher after being blown away by Amour. I am certain the film would be very distressing for couples who are nearing old age. In fact I do not think I would have enjoyed it if I was nearing 60+. However, because I am ignorant of growing old, I found the film beautiful and touching. The film reminded me of The Notebook (or indeed R + J for the oldies), because although there is an overriding sense of tragedy, the great love between the two characters should be celebrated. Georges and Anne Laurent are an admirable and accomplished couple who have lived a graceful life together as music teachers. This perfection is somewhat tinged by their relationship with their troubled daughter (played by Isabelle Huppert, so typically and enchantingly French and chic). Of course, as we have been alerted too, Emmanuelle Riva is wonderful in the film. Her facial expressions are so powerful and captivating she barely needs a script. Her husband, played by Jean Trintignant, is brilliant also. Yet the acting or distressing content are not what left me feeling blown away. It was the setting, music, and Georges and Anne’s love for each other. The apartment is the sole setting meaning it becomes a character all in itself. The set designer created the perfect space for Georges and Anne’s story as it reflects their sophisticated and cultured past, but it also feels desolate and cold- a forbearing of what is to come.
Music too is an integral part of the film considering they are music teachers. The formost piece of music is Schubert’s masterpiece: Impromptu in No.3 in G Flat Major. This was particularly thrilling for me as it is a piece of music I always work to. (thanks Nick Clegg desert island discs).
Yes so go and watch. The film has inspired a week of french music for me. Falling a little in love with Singtank especially Nuthouse. Also a singer who calls herself Coeur de Pirate. Music always sounds better in French. (Sorry I know you like your German)
Enjoy your weekend. S xx