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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

You can't make an omelette w/o breaking eggs.

Amour (2012) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Amour” (“Love” in French) opens with the fire brigade breaking down the door of a spacious Parisian apartment to make a grisly discovery. It immediately reverts back to a starting point of sorts: an octo­genarian couple Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), retired piano teachers, attend a former pupil Alexandre Tharaud's performance of Schubert's Impromptus at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. They ride the bus home to discover their apartment has been broken into (“They used a screw­driver” to jimmy the door) by some amateurs. The professionals (flics) will eventually use a battering ram.

Next morning Anne boils an egg for Georges who uses his skilled musician's hands to break the shell away. By and by, Anne goes into a fugue having suffered what tests will show to be “an obstruction in the carotid.” She makes Georges promise, “Please, never take me back to the hospital.” Over the course of the film, we see the predicted: “It will go steadily down­hill from now, and then it will be over.” The couple have the following conversation:

Anne: “There's no point in going on living. That's how it is. I know it can only get worse. Why should I inflict this on us, on you and me?”

Georges: “You're not inflicting anything on me.”

Anne: “You don't have to lie, Georges.”

Anne: “I don't want to carry on. You're making such sweet efforts to make every­thing easier for me. But I don't want to go on. For my own sake, not yours.”

Georges is very attentive as Anne's condition worsens, but she refuses both meat & drink. One day he tells her a story: His mother sent him away to camp and told him to write her, and to include drawings of flowers and/or stars. He wrote regularly including lots of stars. These same skilled artist's hands are now willing to do Anne's bidding. He shows her stars and brings her flowers.

There is also an interaction between Georges and an adventurous pigeon who besieges their apart­ment. This duet establishes a baseline of how even tempered Georges is (“You are a monster sometimes”) out­side of external influences.


The theme of “Amour” coincides nicely with a note in my Jewish Study Bible:

Prov. 5:15-19: This … passage in the Bible … explicitly celebrates the pleasures of marital sex. Your wife alone is yours, and she is more attractive than any­one else. The author is seeking to dissuade young men from following a fierce and anarchic urge and so depicts the delights of sanctioned sex as no less intense than those of “stolen waters” (Prov. 9:17). The metaphors in Prov. 5:15-18 speak of a man's wife as his well, a source of refresh­ment that slakes (sexual) thirst. … Prov. 5:16 as trans­lated here seems to promote a reward—many progeny—for sexual fidelity.

Looking at this passage in sequence, (Prov. 5:15) “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.” The movie artistically uses tea poured from Anne's own pot (“cistern”) and water left running from the cold water tap when Georges went for help. (Prov. 5:16-17) “Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.” The influence of spreading water in a deserted hallway is discovered by Georges in a dream of water flooding the out­side hall. “In the streets” can be depicted by an association with Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the influence of their pupil suggesting the spreading influence of the couple's daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) who goes on a musical performance tour all the way to Finland (“Where's Finland? The North Pole?”). From my Jewish Study Bible:

Prov. 5:17-18: Enjoy erotic pleasures with your wife alone. Then her “fountain”—i.e., her womb—will be fruitful.

(Prov. 5:18-19) “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” Eva reminisced of when as a girl she came home from school and heard her parents making love in the other room, it gave her a great sense of security. The lively legs of a hind or roe are represented by the physical therapy Georges helps Anne with on her right leg (the paralyzed side). That Anne was a ravishing beauty through­out her life is testified to by the photo album (“C'est beau … La vie”) she leafs through. In fact even in her eighties Georges still tells her she looked pretty at the concert. From my Jewish Study Bible:

Prov. 5:19: The doe connotes grace, tenderness, and affection in the Song of Songs. Loving (Heb'ahavim”) has strong sexual connotations. Breasts (Hebdadim”) should probably be vocalized “dodim”, “love­making,” as in Prov. 7:18 yielding better parallelism with love.
(Prov. 5:19) “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;”

(Prov. 5:20-21) “And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” Eva puzzled over why her husband left for three years with a viola player in their ensemble. It's a puzzler why men do these things.

In the end when the parents are gone, what carries on their life is their progeny, in this case Eva.

Production Values

The French film “Amour” (2012) was written and directed by Michael Haneke. It stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert. Jean-Louis Trintignant & Emmanuelle Riva both give brilliant performances as the tragic couple. Isabelle Huppert does a superlative supporting part as the befuddled daughter. The acting of all three principals is praise­worthy to the extreme.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for mature thematic material including a disturbing act, and for brief language. It's in French with a little English thrown in—activate sub­titles for more. Run­time is 127 min. The musical score is devoted to Schubert's Impromptus Nos. 1 & 3 and Moment musical No. 3, Beethoven's opus 126 Bagatelle No. 2 & opus 33 Bagatelles Nos. 2 & 4, and the Bach-Busoni Prelude Chorale ‘Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ’ – performed by pianist Alexandre Tharaud who plays him­self as Anne's pupil. The film was inspired by personal tragedy in the writer/director's life. The movie is shot mostly in long and static takes while remaining silent at times. “Amour” is one tough heart­breaker.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

Joseph's coat of many colors displayed One needs a certain devil-may-care attitude to maintain his peace in viewing a movie like this one. A sparrow hopped into my house to peck at crumbs, while keeping an eye on me. I left it alone and it hopped out. The next morning I captured a spider in the (empty) bathtub and tossed it out the window. The sparrow patrolling out­side was on it like a chicken on a june bug. I just let nature take its course rather than initiate a catas­trophic inter­vention. I'm not about to lose any sleep over an arachnid. In this movie Georges pursues an intrusive pigeon with a throw. Maybe it lives; maybe it dies. If you're too invested, you might want to skip this movie. Other­wise it's a good one though it may be dull at times. In a secular France, it presents a natural morality, but we do see a crucifix in a wedding chapel picture. Never­the­less, the inevitability of carrying crosses in marriage is little discussed.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, Print.

The Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh. New York: Oxford University Press. New Jewish Publication Society 2nd ed. of 1999. Print.