Michael Haneke generally creepy, eerie films like "Funny Games", "The White Ribbon", The Piano Teacher", and "Cache". Those are the one's I've seen and they range from a masochistic teacher/student love to abused children rituals.


"Funny Games" was the most popular and was directed by Haneke in both the original German and Hollywood version a couple of years ago. It had these two guys getting their kicks by torturing a family they didn't know from squat, just because they could.


So the last thing you would expect to hear from him is a "tender film about love". Yeah, that's my own quote... somewhere in this review.

It is about geriatric love, geriatric health, geriatric care, dying and death. It's about love, the frustrations of love and the consequences of growing old. yes, there are consequences to growing old. especially when you get sick.


The film opens with the police breaking down the door of a French apartment where they find the decaying corpse of an elderly woman neatly positioned as if at peace. The rest of the house is spotless with everything in it's place. How did this woman die?


It now flashes back to an earlier time with an elderly couple Georges and Anne (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva). She has recently suffered a stroke and their daughter is talking with her trying to determine what must be down. She wants to send her mother back to the hospital but Georges has made a promis to his wife that he wouldn't send her; she hated the place.


So the film remains locked in this large, spacious apartment that becomes larger and larger as Anne's debilitated condition starts to wear down her loving husband. We quickly see the consequence of growing old and the consequence of unprofessional home care.

Like most of Haneke's films, this is a no win scenario. And although Georges devotion is sweet and very loving, Anne is holding him hostage just as much as the crazy kids in "Funny Games" hold the vacationing family. Georges is a prisoner in this beautiful home dedicated to culture.


Meanwhile, the daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) makes occasional visits seemingly to break the monotony of their lives with seemingly only a tinge of concern. She seems nearly as amused by the downward spiral of her mother's condition and the insanity that her dad is nearing as he maintains his pledge.


As Anne's health declines we go from watching a man tend to his wife to a man virtually preserving a corpse.


This is a tedious film to watch, because of the long shots of Georges and Anne as she basically lays dying. He's feeding her, bathing her tending her. he grows weak along with her and you feel the weariness.


"Amour" is a tender film about love that morphs into morbid voyeurism on the decay of aging and dying.   -- GEOFF BURTON