Amour Sans Fin

Spoiler Alert: If you’re planning to see the 2012 movie, Amour, you might not want to read this blog because it reveals a critical scene. Personally, I don’t think it will ruin your enjoyment of the film, but the choice should be yours.

Regretfully, I will never have a man love me the way Georges loves Anne in the 2012 French movie Amour, one of the most powerful films I have ever seen. And I will probably never love a man the way Anne loves Georges. Played by marvelous actors, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the aging couple, both music teachers, share a rich and mutually satisfying life together. Even when they quietly sit at their petite kitchen table for a simple meal of steak and frites, their passion for one another is palpable. Their intellectual, spiritual and physical desires seem to meld together.

After Anne suffers a stroke, paralyzing her right side, she and Georges strive to make the best of it. But as Anne’s physical and mental strengths ebb, each cannot stand to see the other in such “pain.” Anne may be the apparent victim, but so, too, is Georges. I imagine a man (or woman) cannot love someone so completely and selflessly without feeling she (he) is part of you, body and soul.

Watching the couple move from blessed to wretched states, it was hardly surprising to see Georges smother Anne with a bed pillow to finally end her—and his—desperation. As we see Anne’s weak body struggling under the blankets to get free, Georges resolutely continues his mission to make it stop. The short scene, all at once, filled me with anguish and relief, for both of them.

What happens next is not easy to explain and I won’t try. But whatever you may read into the ending of the film, there is only one thing to make of the tale, as far as I’m concerned:

Great love is quiet and deep. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, loud and tortured, like Romeo and Juliet, Caesar and Cleopatra, or F. Scott and Zelda. It doesn’t embrace all of us, but if it has you, I trust you realize how incredibly rich you are.

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  • I recently saw this movie which was sad and beautiful at the same time and covered all the issues that would happen in such circumstances. It was a jolt to see the beautiful Emanuelle Riva and former heartthrob Jean-Louis Trintignant looking so aged and frail themselves. I apologize for referencing my own experience again, but I was lucky to have that kind of love the last year my husband died where we just stopped working or doing anything except sharing our days, good and bad. But we had each other to the end. Although he deteriorated from cancer he did not lose his mind or bodily functions as weak as he became (but needed daily help which I shared with visiting hospice workers). I would never feel squeamish doing anything required-bedpans etc. I know that being a caregiver even with some outside help is totally exhausting. But I don’t think I’d have the courage to end my loved one’s life the way Trintignant did although I could do it another way. The problem is this is the US not France so there are legal consequences that might not exist there. This film is scary and definitely makes you think. My husband had me but who will I have?

  • beautiful sentiments and so true…loved this!

  • I saw that move a few months ago, and couldn’t stop crying…it is so sad to see a loved one suffer through such agony…My father suffered from alzheimer’s, and we lived many of the situations described in the movie. It moved all the memories that were lying there somewhere in my mind and made me write about it.
    Sadly, a month ago, out of nothing, and being completely healthy, my face got paralized…and I relieved the movie images again…
    My mind thank god is fine, this is a rare syndrome related to chicken pox that atacked my craneo facial nerves, but the process of trying to bring my face back to normal, makes me feel as a hemiplegic old lady…and I am only 51….

    • Hi Dalia (beautiful name, BTW)

      I was touched by your comments and a little sad that it brought back unpleasant memories.
      Also sorry to hear about what happened with your craneo facial nerves, and hope everything soon returns to normal for you.

      Fondly,
      Geri

    • Thank you, Geri! I am doing better, and day by day, life reminds us that we are here for a reason, and things happen for a reason as well.
      I was very touched by the woman who tells you her story and about her husband´s death…specially when she asks…who is going to be there for me?….makes us think…

      • Hi Dalia,

        I am glad that you are doing better. I think about why we are here pretty frequently. It must be for a reason, otherwise it’s all quite ridiculous, isn’t it?

        Fondly,
        Geri