Michael Haneke's critically-acclaimed drama, "Amour", has just dropped a very touching clip. Though focusing on a simple scene where an old married couple sits in their dining room, the snippet is quite emotional because of the powerful performance of Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Donning a green robe, Riva sits alone on her chair with her eyes showing no sign of life. Her on-screen husband, Trintignant, approaches her and tries to make her speak by repeatedly asking, "What's going on? What's wrong?" Still, the wife remains mum and shows no expression in her face.
Riva plays Anne, while Trintignant stars as Georges in the movie. They are in their eighties. The couple is cultivated, retired music teachers. They have a daughter, who is also a musician, living abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested.
"Amour" has been highly-praised by critics and has won several prestigious film awards, including Palme d'Or Prize at Cannes. Recently, it has also been named the Best Film of the Year by Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film will make its way out onto selected U.S. cinemas on Wednesday, December 19.
Director Haneke once shared that working with elderly people was big challenge for him. "Of course it wasn't always easy," he said. "In the end sequence, Jean-Louis speaks for about eight minutes before any action takes place."
"The concentration it requires to memorizes that long text is extraordinarily difficult for any actor of any age. And on top of that, while we were shooting, Jean-Louis broke his wrist. So it was physically difficult for him. It was sometimes very complicated for Emmanuelle as well."
Haneke explained that Riva "was very worried about one scene that involves being smothered by a pillow - it was very uncomfortable!" He added, "But they're both such professionals and recognize that though the roles demanding, they're very gratifying as well. And I think that gratification motivated them to try and give their best."
Of the meaning behind the movie itself, Haneke said, "For me, the film is simply about how you deal with the suffering of someone you love. That's the true subject, not whether or not someone dies."