Writing about a movie you love is easy. Writing about a movie you hate is even easier. Writing about a movie you mostly like but can’t really rave about is the hard one, and that’s where I find myself today. I’ll try to muddle through, but it won’t be easy.
We went to the Albany theater to see Amour, the Academy-Award nominated French film starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. It is a love story, as the comfortable lives of a pair of retired music teachers, Anne and Georges, are destroyed by the wife’s failing health and the husbands unfailing love continues until the very end.
A series of strokes leaves Anne at first unable to walk, then incontinent and unable to communicate. Georges is forced to spend all of his time and emotional energy caring for her, watching in pain as the love of his life deteriorates before him.
The acting is wonderful–two very experienced actors giving wonderful performances. The pace of the movie is slow, very slow. French movies in general move at what might be called a measured pace, and a story of slow deterioration could hardly clip along in any case.
So why was I not crazy about this touching love story? It gets weird. Dream sequences for no reason. An enigmatic ending. Odd questions, like why do two music teachers never have any music playing in their home. Some strange symbolism with a pigeon. I felt like the director wanted to dress up a beautiful simple story with all the film school tchotchkes rather than keep it pure.
So this is a pretty good movie, with marvelous performances in a story we are all afraid we may be living some day. If only I could figure out what happens at the end.