Opera House Cinema to screen Oscar winner ‘Amour’

This year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, “Amour,” is the next featured film in the Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series. It will be screened on Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director, “Amour” is the story of Georges and Anne, retired music teachers in their 80s, living in a handsomely furnished, book-lined Paris apartment with a baby grand piano. They are happy, affectionate, loving; active and content. But one day, Anne suffers the first of a series of strokes which paralyze one arm, making playing the piano impossible, accompanied by progressive dementia. Having promised the terrified Anne that he would never put her in a home or hospital, Georges is placed under the increasing, insupportable strain caring for her at home. As Anne’s life ebbs away, so does her identity: is their love itself beginning to be dismantled?

“Amour” asks the question of what will survive of us and what “love” means as we approach the end of our lives. From acclaimed Austrian Director Michael Haneke, the film stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as Georges and Anne. It is in French with English subtitles.

Peter Bradshaw, in London’s The Guardian, calls the film “a moving, terrifying and uncompromising drama of extraordinary intimacy and intelligence.”

Stephen Rea, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, calls it “a masterpiece.”

Manohla Dargis, in the New York Times, calls it “a tender, wrenching, impeccably directed story of love and death.”

Rick Groen, in the Toronto Globe & Mail, says “the film is a graphic portrayal of the unfunny end game we’re all fated to play; the title is just a simple declaration of how best to play it.”

Roger Ebert, in the Chicago Sun-Times, adds “Old age isn’t for sissies, and neither is this film.”

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including a disturbing act, and for brief language, “Amour” runs 127 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The Series continues with the Dustin Hoffman-directed “Quartet,” starring Maggie Smith, on April 13 and 16.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.