Amour

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Amour Movie Poster Image
Complex drama with violence is demanding for any age group.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

The movie raises complex issues about old age, sickness, and care, and it will inspire discussions among those brave enough to see it. In some scenes, characters behave bravely, admirably, and responsibly in terms of caring for others, but in other scenes, they act selfishly, desperately, and horribly.

Positive role models & representations

The main male character sometimes shows bravery and responsibility and at other times seems cynical, as well as monstrous. He's not really a "role model," per se, though he makes audiences question what they would do in the same situation. The main female character, who's ill, doesn't get the chance to become a role model. (She doesn't handle her sickness well.)

Violence

One horrible, shocking moment of life-changing violence. A dead body is shown. Also some arguing and a scary nightmare sequence, plus some generally upsetting sequences around the care of a sick, elderly invalid (falling down, peeing the bed, etc.).

Sex

The elderly female lead is briefly seen naked while being bathed. The couple's grown daughter tells a verbal story about an extramarital affair.

Language

Though the movie has little foul language, one scene contains an argument with the words "f--k" and "prick." Other words include "damn" and "for Christ's sakes."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Not an issue, though in an early scene, after coming home from a concert, the elderly gentleman says that he'd like "another drink."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Amour is an acclaimed but emotionally harrowing movie -- in French with English subtitles -- about how an elderly couple deals with a sharp decline in health. The title translates to "love," though this title can be taken both literally and ironically. There's one scene of shocking, life-changing violence, as well as some arguing (the argument contains a use of the word "f--k") and a nightmare sequence. There's a story about adultery, and an old woman is glimpsed naked while bathing. Thanks to many awards and strong critical reception, movie nuts will be interested in seeing what this is all about, but despite a PG-13 rating, Amour's mature subject matter is best for older teens and adults.

User Reviews

Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byStephen the great February 24, 2013

11 and up

a great movie with a mature storyline. Kids will get bored. I think the swearing isnt that bad and the violence either. There isnt much sexual content. Its to m... Continue reading
Adult Written byShivom Oza January 10, 2013

Amour (2012) Review by Shivom Oza - A Compelling Film On Unconditional Love

The lives of Georges and Anne, both of them retired music teachers, change when one of them gets a paralytic stroke. The film is about unconditional love.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaitham Bayazeed August 26, 2013

HBayazeed Review: Amour

Amour is riveting, moving and powerful. But it is not enjoyable or appealing to teens. This is a strong acted film, done with passion and style. It is absorbing... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaithamB November 12, 2013

Moviegoer14: Amour (Love)

This one of a kind achievement is filmed with passion. Disturbing plot.

What's the story?

Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) are a loving husband and wife, both in their eighties and both retired music teachers. One night, they go to a concert to see one of their most successful students. The next morning, Anne freezes up in the middle of a conversation. After a trip to the hospital, it's revealed that she has suffered a stroke and is now paralyzed on one side. Georges opts to keep her at home and hires nurses to help care for her. As Anne's condition worsens and she's no longer able to communicate, the situation becomes more and more unbearable for George and their grown daughter, Eva (Isabelle Huppert). Finally George is faced with a tough decision and a hard question: How much does he truly love Anne?

Is it any good?

This movie has complex moral layers that force viewers to consider very tough questions. Acclaimed German-born director Michael Haneke makes movies like a kid with a magnifying glass, tormenting ants; on the one hand, he's not safe, but on the other, he has a kind of disdain toward his viewers. His films are like a challenge to see how strong a viewer's constitution is. There's a certain chilliness in the air, and it often seems as if Haneke doesn't care about his characters as more than just moral experiments. (The title, AMOUR, which translates to "love," can be seen as both literal and ironic.)

As a result, some viewers may come away from the movie with their heads full of thoughts but their hearts largely untouched. Yet Amour is an exceedingly well-made movie, with excellent acting, and carefully chosen shots that emphasize the drama. Additionally, it's a rarity to see movies about older folks, and in that, the performances by these veteran actors are exemplary. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Amour's violent turning point. What brought about this violence? Was it done through love or hate? Was it justified?

  • Why is the movie called "love"? What are some examples of love in the movie?

  • Why is it so difficult to tell or listen to stories about older people getting sick?

Movie details

For kids who love drama

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