Amour is a 2012 French film directed by Michael Haneke.
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva star as Georges and Anne, a pair of retired music teachers who live out a humble Happily Married existence in Paris. This all changes, however, after Anne has a stroke. The resulting physical debilitation, along with Anne's slowly deteriorating mental state put their love to the ultimate test, as Georges insists on taking care of Anne himself.
The film received unanimous praise from critics (with a 94% rating on both Rottentomatoes and Metacritic) for its realistic depictions of life during a long marriage, being a caretaker to a loved one, watching a partner suffer from illness. It went on to win the Palme D'or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, along with a slew of other accolades. It later received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress, and won the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Haneke stated that the film is Based on a True Story from experiences he witnessed in his own family.
This film provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: Your loving spouse of many years suffering a stroke and then a surgery gone wrong, deteriorating, and dying while you can only watch, basically helpless, and they tell you to let them die rather than go on living in such a state. Even if you or your partner never suffer a stroke, there's always the realization that your spouse aging and dying is inevitable and there is nothing you can do about it.
- And I Must Scream: Anne's deteriorating condition leaves her locked into her own body.
- Bittersweet Ending: Anne no longer has to suffer, satisfied with her life, and she and Georges are presumably Together in Death. But it's still completely depressing as a loving couple has died and Eva is all alone.
- Bottle Episode: Aside from a brief sequence at a concert, the entire film takes place in Georges and Anne's apartment.
- Dream Sequence: Georges has a brief nightmare where his building begins flooding while Anne is still restricted to her bed.
- Elder Abuse: Implied to have happened with one of the nurses hired to take care of Anne.
- Foregone Conclusion: Anne is going to die. The fact that Georges isn't around when the firemen break in after Anne's body has been there for a long time suggests something's happened to him, too.
- From Bad to Worse: As if Anne's first stroke wasn't bad enough, her second one robs her of her speech and sanity.
- Happily Married: Georges and Anne, though her illness puts a severe strain on their relationship.
- Hope Spot: Georges hopes that Anne's condition is temporary when she appears normal during a visit from one of their old pupils. Then she has another stroke.
- How We Got Here: The film opens with a group of firemen breaking into the apartment and finding Anne's corpse lying on her bed.
- Leave the Camera Running: A Haneke trademark: the film is filled with many long, static shots.
- Left the Background Music On: Georges sits watching his wife of over 50 years play the piano. He then suddenly shuts off the CD he's listening to and goes into the bedroom, where his wife lies bedridden from a stroke and can't even speak or feed herself anymore.
- Mercy Kill: Georges eventually chooses to smother Anne to death with a pillow.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: Averted; Eva mentions that she was reassured by the sound of Georges and Anne making love when she was young, as it meant that the family was fine and staying together.
- Potty Failure: Anne wets the bed one night, leaving her confused and humiliated.
- Shoot the Dog: Anne asks Georges at one point to simply let her die. Georges refuses at first.
- Together in Death: Heavily implied with Anne and Georges in the end.
- Vorpal Pillow: How Georges kills Anne.