Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne(Emmanuelle Riva) are an elderly couple living in France who still lead a normal healthy life. They go out, they take care of each other and they love each other. When Anne begins to have “black out” spells, Georges calls the doctor and they discover that Anne needs surgery to repair her Carotid Arteries. Her recovery from the surgery seems to be going smoothly but her emotional distress from realizing that she has health problems causes her to give up or, in medical terms, failure to thrive. When Anne has a full blown stroke and loses mobility on her right side, Georges continues to take care of her regardless of urging from family to move her to a home. Before long, the stress of being a 24-hour caregiver catches up to Georges and he is left feeling helpless and alone with no one to turn to.
I would just like to preface my whole idea of this film by saying that I am an Emergency Room nurse so I see things such as “failure to thrive,” “caregiver role strain,” and denial/grieving on a daily basis. I also see stoke patients practically every week and the depiction of the disease process in the film is very realistic. Having said that, because I deal with this subject matter daily, I didn’t feel that it had as much an emotional impact on me that it might other audience members who don’t deal with life changing events very often. Amour is very raw, emotional, realistic and one can only image what it would be like to be in Georges’ shoes. He goes his whole life with this woman who he loves and then she is gone, only leaving behind a fragment of what she once was. It is a very sad and straining situation for everyone involved. As a movie, Amour is rather drawn out and emotionally draining. Many people will want it to be over sooner rather than later because they feel the strain themselves and don’t want to experience the turmoil. I didn’t find any enjoyment from the movie because, like most of us, I go to the movies to escape life and be entertained, but this movie goes right along with my profession and is no way at all entertaining. Sure it has artistic value and depicts a realistic view on life, but that doesn’t mean people want to go and see it on the screen. Amour is the type of movie that after you watch it you say to yourself, “Well ok, that will be a movie I never see again.” I can see how the Academy loves it and nominated it in several categories, but at the end of the day, the power of Amour will be lost on many casual movie goers and people who want to be entertained, like me.
5/10 Stars – I see pure emotion like this almost everyday and didn’t find seeing it on the screen very entertaining.
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