Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

January 30, 2013

Slow-paced Amour boasts great performances

Greensburg — Andy here, with a solo review of the last of this year’s Best Picture nominees, Michale Heneke’s Amour (PG-13).

Jean- Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva star as an elderly couple coping with Riva’s terminal illness. As her condition worsens, the couple’s bond of love is tested. Amour will make its way into Indianapolis theaters Feb. 12.

Amour was a surprise inclusion in this year’s best picture nominees, as most people have not even had the opportunity to see this film yet. It also snagged a nomination in the best foreign film category as France’s official entry.

I understand why the academy would choose to honor this film. It is full of bold, methodical choices that most filmmakers would not have the guts or restraint to make. Several scenes unfold with an excruciatingly realistic pace, as if the camera were just dropped in this couple’s home as they are living out their lives.

Scenes that trudge forward with seemingly no action are soon revealed to be a pivotal moment in the couple’s understanding of the reality in which they are living. Add to that the inherent emotional heft of the film’s subject matter and the superb performances by the two leads, and you have plenty of ammunition for a best picture argument.

Riva’s inclusion in the Best Actress category is completely legitimate. Her character somehow seems fully formed in the film’s first 10 minutes, which makes the demise of her health all the more heart-breaking. Although he did not get a nomination, Trintignant completely holds his own, emoting the struggles of someone seeing the love of his life die with few options to ease her suffering. Heneke’s directing style is not for everyone, but there is no question that it allows for some great performances when quality actors are involved.

As many good aspects as there are to Amour, it is impossible to ignore long stretches where almost nothing seems to happen. Perhaps I am too young to fully connect with the narrative, or my tastes are a little to American-ized to handle the methodical pace of a European art-house film, but much of this film just seemed boring. I respect almost every aspect of this film, but too often during my viewing I was having to force myself to pay attention. And it is hard to justify a film being a Best Picture when it fails to consistently hold your attention.

Final grade: B.

 

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • hea-gb082314 DeYoung with pic Our Hospice concert to have Dennis DeYoung: The music of Styx Our Hospice of South Central Indiana announces Dennis DeYoung: The music of Styx will headline the 2014 Our Hospice Concert on Aug. 30 at Mill Race Park, Columbus. The free community concert over Labor Day weekend is Our Hospice’s largest fundraiser

    August 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Sin City- A Dame to Kill" For movie poster Movie preview: “Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For”

    Plot: Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s “Sin City” graphic novels back to the screen. Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • "If I Stay" movie poster Movie preview: “If I Stay”

    Plot: Gayle Forman’s best-selling novel comes to the screen when life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than the one she had imagined.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • "When the Game Stands Tall" movie poster Movie preview: “When The Game Stands Tall”

    Plot: In this emotionally-charged sports drama inspired by a true story, celebrated football coach Bob Ladouceur leads the De La Salle High School Spartans on an unprecedented 151-game winning streak over 12 years while overcoming the personal trials they endured.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb082114-movie wolf pic 'Under the Skin' is too much art for art's sake FROM THE DEN AT HOME -- “Under the Skin” is the single, most bizarre film I’ve seen in 2014.It stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien from an unnamed planet and star system, and is classified in critical circles as an “art” film. Had I known that fact

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb082114-Movie boys pic Inventive and mysterious, "The One I Love" is worth seeking This week we ignore the latest batch of new releases out of Hollywood and instead turn our focus to the indie dramedy, The One I Love (R). In the film, Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star as a married couple whose marriage is on the rocks. Attemptin

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • New arrivals at the library eBooksBefore the End, After the Beginning: Stories by Gilb, DagobertoThe Autumn Bride: Chance Sisters Series, Book 1 by Gracie, AnneMallets Aforethought: Home Repair is Homicide Mystery Series, Book 7 by Graves, SarahUnhinged: Home Repair is Homicide

    August 16, 2014

  • "The Expendables 3" movie poster Movie preview: “The Expendables 3”

    Plot: Commander Barney augments his team with new blood as this latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • "The Giver" movie poster Movie preview: “The Giver”

    Plot: In a seemingly perfect future community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young man discovers the sinister secrets that hold his fragile society together after being selected to join the Giver.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Let's Be Cops" movie poster Movie preview: “Let’s Be Cops”

    Plot: Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo