One of the last films of the year for me, Amour, is a highly-regarded foreign film that’s gaining a lot of attention of late due to it receiving several major Oscar nominations for Best Film, Foreign Film, Director and Actress.
This French story focuses on a cultured married couple in their 80’s. They live a fully independent life until one of them suddenly starts experiencing major health issues.
The film provides a brutally realistic insight into the realities of having to cope with tormenting end-of-life issues. Everything about it seems as if it could have been culled from the experiences of virtually any family.
For me, the end result is clearly realistic but highly unsatisfying. The story plods along at a snails pace and really comes down to a single scene that isn’t worth the wait. The ending is a complete disappointment and, frankly, confounding.
Sadly, many scenes drag on for no reason. There’s a scene involving a pigeon that makes no sense. We get several scenes involving literally nothing more than long, drawn-out close-up’s without any activity what-so-ever. We’re supposed to be moved by watching people eat, wash dishes, sit quietly, etc. It’s all like trying to get excited about watching paint dry.
This entire experience reminded me immediately of last year’s Poetry. It came with the same fanfare and rating but was easily one of the most boring films I’ve ever sat through. This isn’t that trying but it isn’t all that far off either. The director is the same one that brought us Cache back in 2005 and that’s not at all surprising. I found that to be a complete bore, yet film buffs often fawned over it.
There is simply no way this film belongs in the same league as the rest of the Oscar nominated films (and I have my own qualms with that list already). With respect to foreign films, I’ve seen quite a few others this year that impressed me more.
I’m left to think that many of the reviewers are simply so fearful of death that any film showing typical decline simply hits too close to home.