Michael Haneke has never exactly been Mr. Happy Fun Time, and while his latest, the Palme d’Or winning “Amour,” has been his most widely embraced film to date, make no mistake, it’s basically two hours of watching a woman die. So happy holidays, Sony Pictures Classics is bringing it to theaters just in time to crush your spirits.
The arthouse shingle has set a December 19th limited release bow for the film, putting it into Oscar contention, which it surely deserves. Featuring two powerful performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, the pair play an elderly couple whose lives are forever changed when the latter suffers a stroke and begins the slow decline to the end of her life. As said in our review from Cannes, the film is powerful, unflinching stuff with Haneke following the story with his trademark intensity right until the end. However, there is a heart and humanity present that slightly lessens the blow in a picture that we said “isn’t afraid to ask the big questions about human nature.”
Co-starring Isabelle Huppert, it’s likely SPC will trot this one out on the fall festival circuit as well. Either way, make time to see this because despite how it sounds, “Amour” is a rewarding experience.