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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
This year's frontrunner in the Oscar's category of Best Foreign Language Film seems to be Amour. It also has nominations in the Directing, Best Actress, and even Best Picture categories.
It may sound crazy, because director Michael Haneke's films are not usually for the faint of heart. He revels in the discomfort of his audience and his films are not for everyone. Until Amour. There may be one very disturbing scene, unlike his Funny Games (either version, take your pick) which is non-stop cruelty and violence; he never lets you up for air.
I was expecting more from Amour. Something that would maybe open my eyes. Amour is probably Haneke's safest movie, which might make it so appealing to a broad audience. I didn't really get it. In a movie where a pigeon steals one particular scene, you have to wonder: is the pigeon really that intriguing or does Michael Haneke need to step up his game?
Good things have come out of this, though. America is paying attention to Amour. Jean-Louis Trintignant makes a triumphant return to the big screen after a hiatus. Actress Emmanuelle Riva is nominated among the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Naomi Watts. Then take this College Humor spoof:
Perhaps the designer did not know Michael Haneke was Austrian. Perhaps the person did know and thought most people would be ignorant enough not to know the difference. It is still funny. It would be even more humorous if Amour won Best Picture at the Oscars this year. It is a longshot in that category, but almost a guaranteed winner for Best Foreign Language Film.