I’ve always been a big fan of film director Michael Haneke’s work. He makes films that are emotionally brutal and can make the viewer uncomfortable, because even in the darkest moments, we may catch a glimpse of ourselves in his films. Haneke’s movies are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who are involved with caregiving of an ill family member, “Amour” is essential viewing.
The movie has earned many awards and accolades, and is nominated for best film at the Oscars. Both of the lead actors are in their mid-80’s and offer amazing performances. The story is deceptively simple. A long-married couple faces upheaval when one of them becomes ill. For any of us who have been family caregivers, the roller coaster of emotions is displayed quite realistically in this film.
As the film progresses, the side effects of the wife’s illness begins to take greater hold over their lives, making both of them more desperate as they valiantly attempt to preserve their loving relationship. I won’t spoil the ending, but bring some tissues.
While the film is certainly a stark, sobering and heartbreaking look at family caregiving, there are some beautiful and tender moments of love displayed throughout the movie. I think anyone who has ever been a family caregiver will be able to relate to the new world that is formed when a loved one becomes ill.