Saturday, March 1, 2014
IMDb plot summary: Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Directed by Michael Haneke. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.
(Some spoilers about how the movie ends.)
This movie hit me on a much more personal level than I anticipated. I got married this past year and was very soon after hit with the worst rheumatoid arthritis flare-up I've ever had. It lasted *months*, and I found myself almost entirely bedridden, with my new husband suddenly put in the position of having to help me perform basic tasks like brushing my hair or buckling my seat belt. With this experience in mind, I identified VERY strongly with the character of Anne. (There's a scene where her husband helps her into her wheelchair, only to find that she's wet herself in the night. She allows him to help her into the chair but then wheels away from him as quickly as she can, infuriated and embarrassed at having to be in this position. This moment brought me to tears, and I almost stopped watching because it was hitting me so hard.)
This movie may be my favorite of all the Best Picture nominees from the 2013 Oscars. (Why on earth did it take me so long to watch it?) It's slow and beautiful and sad and Emmanuelle Riva does such an incredible job in her role. The final scene or two of the film took a direction I didn't expect, but it made sense in terms of the story and gave it a very moving ending. Overall, even though it was at times difficult for me to watch because I was connecting to it so personally, it was an excellent movie. 4.5 stars.
Flickchart: #512 out of 2042, below The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) and above You Can't Take It With You. This is definitely too low because The Scarlet Pimpernel is too low. I'll have to fix that.
Buy a digital copy for $5.99.