The Norwegian movie Kon-Tiki was beaten by Amour, an Austrian/French/German movie. The film has been met with acclaim from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 93% based on 115 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10, while Metacritic gives a weighted average rating of 93 based reviews from 35 critics. Academy shows love for ‘Amour’ with five Oscar nominations. Check out the trailer.
The opening scene shows firemen breaking down the door of an apartment in Paris to find the corpse of Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) lying on a bed. The doors had been taped shut and she is adorned with cut flowers.
Anne is married to Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), who are both retired music teachers in their eighties. One morning, they are eating breakfast together and Anne goes silent. She doesn’t respond to Georges as she sits in a catatonic state. Georges tries to get her attention and goes off to get help. She then comes round, but doesn’t remember anything that took place. Georges thinks she was playing a prank on him, but she rebuffs this by thinking that Georges is going mad.
Anne needs to undergo surgery on a blocked carotid artery, but the surgery goes wrong leaving her partially paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. She makes Georges promise not to send her back to the hospital or go into a nursing home. However, she suffers a further stroke and her condition worsens. Georges continues to look after Anne, despite the strain it puts on him to do so. Georges begins employing a nurse three days a week, to help care for Anne. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) wishes for her mother to go into care, but Georges says that would break the promise he made to Anne.
Georges employs a second nurse to help care for Anne, but after he discovers that she is mis-treating his wife, he fires her. Anne can no longer speak coherently and fluctuates between pain, sombreness and light singing with Georges’ encouragement. A moment occurs where Anne refuses to drink the water that Georges is providing her, this causes great frustration to Georges. One day, Georges sits next to Anne’s bedside after she has been crying out, apparently in pain. He tells her a story of his childhood, and as it reaches the conclusion, he grabs the pillow on the bed and smothers Anne.
Georges returns home with bundles of flowers in his hands, which he proceeds to wash and cut. He picks out a dress from Anne’s wardrobe and writes a long letter. He tapes the bedroom door shut and captures a pigeon which has flown in from the window. In the letter, Georges explains that he has released the pigeon. Georges hears Anne in the kitchen, she is washing dishes. Speechless, he gazes at Anne, as she cleans up and prepares to leave the house. Anne calls for Georges to bring a coat, and he complies, following her out the door. The film concludes with their daughter, Eva seated in the living room, after she had wandered slowly around the now empty home.
The other foreign Oscar nominated movies
The other foreign-language nominees are 18th-century court saga “A Royal Affair” by Denmark’s Nikolaj Arcel; child soldier drama “War Witch” by Canada’s Kim Nguyen; seafaring adventure “Kon-Tiki” by Norway’s Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg; and “No” by Chile’s Pablo Larrain.
“No” tells the story of a Chilean ad agency that helped to oust dictator Augusto Pinochet through a clever marketing campaign around a 1988 referendum. The film, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was a surprise hit of the Cannes Film Festival and has since gathered accolades around the world.