I got to see Amour, a film about Georges and Anne, a husband and wife in Paris who must face long-term care (LTC) issues, yesterday in Manhattan, at a very arty arthouse theater known as the Film Forum.
Sony Pictures Classics, the distributor, began showing the film in “limited release” in December, to get the film qualified for the Oscars. The strategy succeeded: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the America’s Health Insurance Plans of the movie business — has given Amour a best picture nomination; a best actress nomination for Emmanuelle Riva, the actress who plays Anne; and a nomination for best director for the director, Michael Haneke. Haneke also wrote the script.
Some reviewers say Amour is similar to Volcano, an Icelandic film I had never heard of before, but, honestly, for me, it’s really the first film I can remember seeing that really focused on LTC issues.
Amour is a beautiful, quiet, intense, cool, intellectual, claustrophobic film. It’s obviously not a great film for people who want to see spaceships and car chases, and it’s also not a great film for anyone who wants to see a nice shots of the Seine, of streets in Paris, or even the insides of a doctor’s office, hospital or nursing home in Paris.
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The real star of the film is a beautiful apartment set that is said to be based on Haneke’s own parents’ apartment. The ideal viewers for this film would be people who watch the International House Hunters show on HGTV and wish the shows would give viewers more time to look at the kitchen sink.
The Film Forum itself is across from a nursing home. It tends to attract the kinds of elegant, intelligent, meticulous, affluent people who look as if they’re a live version of a great Manhattan LTCI lead list.
When I saw Amour, the theater was full, and the moviegoers seemed to enjoy the film.
Online, about 80 percent of the reviewers praise the film. Most of the reviewers who give the film low grades admit that they are criticizing it more because of their discomfort with the focus on LTC services than because of any particular fault with the film.
If you really want to go to the film just to enjoy it, and you don’t want me to spoil any of the film at all, please stop reading when you get to the “next page” button. My advice would be: If you’ve enjoyed other quiet, classy French movies and think you might like to see one about LTC services, see this one. What have you got to lose?
If you want to book the film into a theater in your town and organize a screening party for 100 of your best long-term care insurance (LTCI) prospects, please read page 64 of the script carefully before you put down a deposit, and think about how people in your market would receive the action described on that page.
The plot of Amour hinges on a series of paralyzing strokes that Anne suffers.
Some have suggested that Anne suffers from Alzheimer’s. As far as I can tell, she eventually suffers from aphasia — difficulty with saying what she wants to say because of the strokes — but she never shows clear evidence of suffering from dementia.
People who spend their time thinking about caregiving and LTCI might find the caregiving scenes to be much less daring than they had expected.