Gut-wrenching. Right now I don’t want to write more about it. Anyone who’s ever had a relative spend their last few months at home, seeing their slow demise, might feel the urge to leave the cinema at one point or another. Not an easy film – not that this is what I was expecting -, and certainly not one I will watch again soon. But I didn’t leave, and I’m glad I didn’t.
OK, so I do want to write a bit more about it, but only two or three things. (Contains spoilers.)
The actors were fantastic. Perfect. If anything, I felt Isabelle Huppert was the weakest link, at least in the beginning – but I guess she was directed to play her role like that, with a certain distance that made it seem like she was talking to someone other than her father in her first scene.
That scene with the pigeon (the second one) – at first I thought he was going to kill it. But then, when he just held it to his face, covering it with a blanket, his…I don’t even know how to say it, his holding on to the only other living being left in the flat—shown only for such a short time there’s no feeling of the director exploiting the moment to make the audience feel a certain way (Hollywood, take note). He doesn’t have to manipulate us into feeling what we feel. (Or do not feel.) At first I was sceptical about the pigeon, I thought it was going to be used in a too obvious way to…actually, I don’t know what. For some sort of symbolism. Or…whatever. But no, that scene was nothing but touching.
Georges’s nightmare – SUSPENSE. From the moment he opened the door, I felt close to a heart attack.
Also, the ever missing score – still one of my favourite things about Haneke. (In Amour, music does play a role, however, so it’s not completely missing.)
When the film ended, everyone was sitting there in complete silence.