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.