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New Trailer For Five Times Oscar-Nominated Amour (Video)


Michael Haneke Emmanuelle Riva Jean-Louis Trintignant

Michael Haneke’s Amour was something of an outsider’s choice until this year’s Oscars nominations were announced. The movie has been nominated for Best Picture, Directing (Haneke), Foreign Language Film, Writing (Original Screenplay) and Actress in a Leading Role, for Emmanuelle Riva, who – at the age of 85 – is the oldest woman to have been nominated in the category and faces competition from Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest, at the age of nine.

The movie tells the tale of an octogenarian couple – both retired music teachers and of Georges’ (Jean-Louis Trintignant) struggle to care for Anne as her body begins to falter and shut down after a series of strokes. The trailer only gives a glimpse into the story; a sense of a family troubled, but no questions are answered. There is as much silence as there is speech in the trailer; a poignant moment as Anne sits at the piano, a beautiful piece of music plays in the background, yet, as the camera pans over to Georges, he reaches behind him and switches the music off; Anne is no longer capable of playing the piano as she once could. The role of the couple’s exasperated daughter, Eva, is played by Isabelle Huppert.

Amour, in addition to its clutch of Oscar nominations (many are hailing Amour as this year’s The Artist), the movie also won the highly coveted Palme D’Or prize at last year’s Cannes film festival. 

Continue reading: New Trailer For Five Times Oscar-Nominated Amour (Video)

Michael Haneke 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel - Press Room Featuring: Michael Haneke Where: Beverly Hills, CA, United States When: 13 Jan 2013

Michael Haneke and Beverly Hilton Hotel
Michael Haneke and Beverly Hilton Hotel

Michael Haneke 10th Annual Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Symposium held at the Hilton Center at Loyola Marymount University Featuring: Michael Haneke Where: Los Angeles, California, United States When: 12 Jan 2013

Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke The 2013 LA Film Critics Awards at InterContinental Hotel Featuring: Michael Haneke Where: Century City, California, United States When: 12 Jan 2013

Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke

Ben Affleck Misses Out On Best Director Oscar Nod; Will It Affect Argo's Chances In Best Picture?


Ben Affleck Kathryn Bigelow Benh Zeitlin Steven Spielberg Michael Haneke

He was the bookies favorite coming in to today, but Argo's Ben Affleck didn't even make the shortlist for the Best Director category as the Oscars nomination were revealed. 

Just yesterday the Mirror had reported that it was to be a two horse race between Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow this year to take the much-coveted award. In the event though neither of them managed to make the final cut, the Academy panel of judges looking over them both in order to give a chance to the lesser favored Benh Zeitlin and Michael Hanneke for Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Amour respectively. Those two join the much more fancied Steven Spielberg, David O Russell and Ang Lee, the trio nominated for Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and The Life Of Pi respectively. 

Continue reading: Ben Affleck Misses Out On Best Director Oscar Nod; Will It Affect Argo's Chances In Best Picture?

Michael Haneke's 'Amour' Is An 'Emotional Wipeout'


Michael Haneke Emmanuelle Riva

A movie being good doesn't automatically make it enjoyable, and few films prove this to be more true than Michael Haneke's Amour.

Starring two French greats, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a wealthy Parisian couple, Anne and Georges, in the final few chapters of their life together, Amour explores the inelegant and painful aspects of love in old age. As Anne suffers multiple strokes resulting in her degeneration of her physical and mental abilities, this begins the heart breaking journey for Georges, watching his life long partner slowly die. There are very few, if any, ways in which this could be an uplifting movie, and it's not, however with a 91% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's undoubtedly very good. 

Rolling Stone says that Riva and Trinignant "give performances of breathtaking power and beauty", but advise to "prepare for an emotional wipeout." The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "Magnificent" but also that it's 'a deliberately torturous watch" because the audience is forced to come "face to face with the nature of love in its most unromantic and weighty moments." 

Continue reading: Michael Haneke's 'Amour' Is An 'Emotional Wipeout'

Could Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ Upset The Oscars Applecart?


Michael Haneke

Amour, the French-language drama directed by Michael Haneke, hits theaters in the U.S. this weekend on the back of critical acclaim and the coveted Palme d’Or. The movie, about an elderly man who cares for his wife after she suffers a stroke, is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

Though the film is almost certain to win the Oscar, it’s likely that Haneke’s movie will get a nod in the Best Picture category too. Traditionally, Palme d’Or winners do not achieve huge success at the Academy Awards, though Armour represents one of the best reviewed pieces of work for 2012 and Haneke is popular with the voters. It holds a 91% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregating website, with Deborah Young of the Hollywood Reporter gushing, “Consummate acting helps ease a painful watch, as Michael Haneke describes the ultimate test of love in a profoundly honest study of sickness and dying.” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, “The title is French for love. The movie itself, indisputably the year's best foreign-language film and an Oscar front-runner, defines what love is. And it does it the hard way.” Though Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo and Les Miserables appear to be ahead in the race for the Best Picture Oscar, critics refrained from throwing the word ‘masterpiece’ about in reaction to any of the films. Numerous writers called Amour just that.

It currently sits at 25/1 to win the biggest prize of them all. It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. 

Silver Linings Playbook? Argo? Lincoln? Your Oscars Cheat Sheet For Best Picture!


Ben Affleck Steven Spielberg Tom Hooper David O Russell Joaquin Phoenix Philip Seymour Hoffman Michael Haneke Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow Daniel Day Lewis Hugh Jackman Helena Bonham Carter Russell Crowe Anne Hathaway Paul Thomas Anderson Ang Lee Quvenzhane Wallis

David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook - a stunning dark comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper - appears to have hijacked the Oscars race. Russell was tipped for a golden statuette with The Fighter, though missed out on the directing prize to Tom Hooper (The Kings Speech). His latest movie has certainly thrown a spanner into the works for the greatest film prize of them all, so we've compiled an Oscars cheat sheet for Best Picture in 2013. So read on, before cleverly dropping the information into conversations with your friends.

Who's the frontrunner?

There's still a handful of likely Oscar contenders to be released, though the eight or ten movies most strongly tipped to get nominated for Best Picture are now in place. The list is headed by two movies: Ben Affleck's thriller Argo and Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln. The bookmakers cannot choose between the two, but most give the former's movie the edge as recent history suggests this type of film is likely to please the younger looking Academy. The Hurt Locker famously usurped Avatar in 2009, and Affleck's slick movie has much in common with Kathryn Bigelow's classic Iraq War film. As mentioned, both films are pretty much neck-and-neck in the betting, though Argo is generally available at 3/1 while Spielberg's epic is around 4/1.

Continue reading: Silver Linings Playbook? Argo? Lincoln? Your Oscars Cheat Sheet For Best Picture!

"Is Anyone There?" Michael Haneke's 'Amour' Arrives On Screen


Michael Haneke Jean-Louis Trintignant Emmanuelle Riva

"Il ya quelqu'un?", 'Is anyone there?' are the first words spoken on the trailer for Michael Haneke's Palme D'Or winning film, 'Amour'. These are the words that haunt the entire film, in which an ageing musician, Anne, has a series of catastrophic strokes which render her incapable of playing the piano, and is swiftly followed by the onset of dementia. Her husband, Georges, in fear and faith, does his best to care for her, as their love and their lives are tested. 

Haneke is best known for brutal films, ones where women slice their genetalia (The Piano Teacher), or the murder of an entire family. While these films are physically violent, and haunting, Amour is both violent and haunting in an entirely different way, the Telegraph even described it as a 'horror' which in many ways it truly is. 'Amour' is an exploration of old age, love and the inevitability of mortality. Due to the strokes and dementia, Georges loses Anne, the woman he has devoted his life to, we see him experience grief, bereavement and bewilderment while she's still alive- hence the question that hangs over the whole film: 'Is anyone there?'. We see Anne struggle to come to terms with her own illness. The breathtaking performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are human in all ways that we are human. Both bodily and emotionally they both, with Haneke, force the audience into seeing ourselves and our futures as immensely fallible and terrifying, but with such tenderness as to make us fall in love with the film itself. 

The Telegraph praised Riva and Trintignant particularly, "At the close of their long careers, stretched and tested, these actors are heroically brave, subtle - and heartbreaking." And, the Guardian gave it a rare full five star review and described it as "a moving, terrifying and uncompromising drama of extraordinary intimacy and intelligence." Amour is released in the UK on November 16th. 

Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Michael Haneke and Cannes Film Festival - Emmanuelle Riva, Susanne Haneke, Michael Haneke, Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant Sunday 20th May 2012 'Amour' premiere during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-louis Trintignant, Michael Haneke and Cannes Film Festival
Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-louis Trintignant, Michael Haneke and Cannes Film Festival

Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, Yaron Shani 'Ajami', Claudia Llosa, Scandar Copti 'ajami' and Juan Jose Campanella - Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, Yaron Shani 'Ajami', Claudia Llosa, Scandar Copti 'ajami' and Juan Jose Campanella Friday 5th March 2010 at Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Los Angeles, California

Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, Yaron Shani 'ajami', Claudia Llosa, Scandar Copti 'ajami' and Juan Jose Campanella
Jacques Audiard, Michael Haneke, Yaron Shani 'ajami', Claudia Llosa, Scandar Copti 'ajami' and Juan Jose Campanella

The White Ribbon Trailer


Watch the trailer for The White Ribbon

Continue: The White Ribbon Trailer

Michael Haneke, Tom Tykwer and Marie Steinmann - Michael Haneke, Tom Tykwer, Marie Steinmann Berlin, Germany - Premiere of Funny Games U.S. at Kino International Thursday 29th May 2008

Michael Haneke, Tom Tykwer and Marie Steinmann
Michael Haneke
Stefan Arndt, His Wife Manuela Stehr and Michael Haneke
Stefan Arndt, His Wife Manuela Stehr and Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke

Funny Games (2008) Review


Terrible
Have we grown this cynical? Is the world in 2008 so devoid of intellectual pursuits that the story of a couple of slap happy serial killers demands attention as revisionist art? That's the bottom line you have to believe if you read the reviews of Michael Haneke's 1997 effort Funny Games. Called everything from a taut little thriller to a complete deconstruction of the taut little thriller genre, this Austrian Desperate Hours caused some decent art house buzz a decade ago. Now, George Sluzier style, Haneke has taken his Cache cred and cashed in with a Hollywood remake. The results -- a beat for beat remake of Games, this time with an English-speaking cast. A decade has done little to change the story, or the incredibly repugnant way it is told.

Anna (Naomi Watts), George (Tim Roth), and their young son Georgie leave the big city and head up to a secluded, snooty, Hamptons like lakeside. They plan a fun vacation of sailing, golfing, and grilling. Into their life walks Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbet), two effete young men who claim to be staying with the next door neighbors. When a tiff over some eggs goes pear-shaped, the family soon finds themselves the subject of inhuman torture -- both physical (golf club to the shin) and psychological (threats, force, manipulation). Seems our lads in white are really full-blown whack jobs, traveling around the exclusive area picking off the residents. To them it's all one big sarcastic game, and the family is going to play... or else.

Continue reading: Funny Games (2008) Review

Funny Games (1997) Review


Good
What happened to the good old fashioned insane killer? Where did he go? Can we get him back? Hell, it can even be a she these days. Come on, people, aren't you a little tired of being told "everything is OK?" Earlier this year, Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects had a family of murdering hillbillies that slashed and mutilated without rhyme or reason: They just liked it and, sometimes, it served a purpose. But we weren't given a real reason, and it made it all the more chilling. Think of the recent films that have been short of classic because of worn-out explanations; it really is heartbreaking (best example: Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo). Truth be told, you have to look at a movie like Michael Haneke's Funny Games and question what you think about cruelty, brutality, and safety, with stories like these running around.

So, everyone needs eggs, regardless of the cholesterol scares in the country. It is this need that brings Paul (Arno Frisch) and Peter (Frank Giering) to the summer home of a well-to-do couple and their son. Peter, a shy, young man, asks for a few eggs and is given them, but he drops them by accident. This continues to happen until Anna (Susanne Lothar), the wife, gets frustrated and asks him to leave. Then Peter enters, with the homicidal swagger of Frank Sinatra playing Hannibal Lecter. Peter thinks Anna is being rude to his friend and demands more eggs. What happens next? Details shouldn't be discussed further, but Peter and Paul put Anna, her husband Georg (Ulrich Mühe), and their son Georgie (Stefan Clapczynski) through a series of games that range from perverse to blood-curdling.

Continue reading: Funny Games (1997) Review

Caché Review


OK
A low-rent setup for two penthouse-level thespians, Michael Haneke's Caché is somehow rigorous yet formless, absolutely exacting in its procedure, yet seemingly bereft of intent and meaning, scrupulously acted for not much reason at all. Derived from the same nervous Parisian bourgeois milieu as writer/director Haneke's Code Unknown but quite a bit more tightly-packed, it's a thriller wrapped inside a moral lesson and presented with the glassy omnipotence of the true voyeur.

The story owes a debt on some level to that greatest of cinematic voyeurs, Hitchcock, whose corpulent presence seems constantly in the filmmaker's mind. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil plays Anne and Georges Laurent, a perfectly respectable married example of the modern Paris intelligentsia. She works for a publisher where she can set her own hours, while he hosts a literary TV talk show. They have a nice little flat and a nice son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). This is all filled in later, however, as the first thing we see is a static shot of the Laurent household which turns out to be a videotape Anne and Georges are watching which had been left on their doorstep with no explanation. Someone simply set up a videocamera across from their flat and filmed it for hours on end. Things escalate, of course, with tapes mysteriously appearing, soon with childlike drawings attached, of a face spitting blood, a chicken getting its head cut off. Someone starts calling for Georges, sending the tapes to his work, sending the notes to Pierrot at school. And there is no demand, no message, no anything but the constant surveillance and the feeling (soon proven) that the watcher knows more than the Laurents would like about themselves and their past, especially Georges'.

Continue reading: Caché Review

Benny's Video Review


Weak
It's long been a staple of psychological profiling and often debated furiously, but the assumption that violent movies actually make people violent has some merit. How could it not, to some degree? I can remember very clearly stepping out of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles in high school and hoping, praying, that someone would try to jump me on the way back to my car so I could get into some sort of kung fu fight. Sure, it would have been geeky, spastic kung fu, and, sure, I would have been beaten senseless, but I was just so pumped up I would've taken on Jet Li. The question isn't does violence inspire violence. The question is: To what extent? Where does that influence end?

We're bombarded almost daily with disturbing news snippets about teens run amok, filming their attacks gloatingly and enjoying them at parties. Forget Girls Gone Wild, nowadays it's Teens Gone Wilding. Is this the end result of a violent movie culture? Bad parenting? Terrible genetics? All of the above? If I watched Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles enough times (I know, I know, it's a PG movie with puppets, but still...) would I be transformed into the sociopathic killer at the heart of Michael Haneke's Benny's Video?

Continue reading: Benny's Video Review

The Time Of The Wolf Review


Good
What is it about French filmmakers and the word "wolf?" This is the second French film in three years to ostensibly cover the lupine species... even though it doesn't really.

Director Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher) offers a tantalizing setup this go-round, yet he ultimately does nothing with it. Here's the gist: A family arrives at their vacation house under suspicious (and weirdly hazy) circumstances, only to find squatters living inside. Soon Haneke reveals that some (unexplained) apocalyptic event has transpired, scattering people across the countryside. What happens when people try to survive a nuclear winter (or thereabouts)? Does soceity break down or does it rebuild?

Continue reading: The Time Of The Wolf Review

Caché Review


OK
A low-rent setup for two penthouse-level thespians, Michael Haneke's Caché is somehow rigorous yet formless, absolutely exacting in its procedure, yet seemingly bereft of intent and meaning, scrupulously acted for not much reason at all. Derived from the same nervous Parisian bourgeois milieu as writer/director Haneke's Code Unknown but quite a bit more tightly-packed, it's a thriller wrapped inside a moral lesson and presented with the glassy omnipotence of the true voyeur.

The story owes a debt on some level to that greatest of cinematic voyeurs, Hitchcock, whose corpulent presence seems constantly in the filmmaker's mind. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil plays Anne and Georges Laurent, a perfectly respectable married example of the modern Paris intelligentsia. She works for a publisher where she can set her own hours, while he hosts a literary TV talk show. They have a nice little flat and a nice son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). This is all filled in later, however, as the first thing we see is a static shot of the Laurent household which turns out to be a videotape Anne and Georges are watching which had been left on their doorstep with no explanation. Someone simply set up a videocamera across from their flat and filmed it for hours on end. Things escalate, of course, with tapes mysteriously appearing, soon with childlike drawings attached, of a face spitting blood, a chicken getting its head cut off. Someone starts calling for Georges, sending the tapes to his work, sending the notes to Pierrot at school. And there is no demand, no message, no anything but the constant surveillance and the feeling (soon proven) that the watcher knows more than the Laurents would like about themselves and their past, especially Georges'.

Continue reading: Caché Review

Code Unknown Review


Good
Austrian bad boy filmmaker Michael Haneke follows up his nihilistic home invasion psychodrama Funny Games with the elusive Code Unknown. Frustrating and seemingly disconnected, Haneke's crafted one of those strange films that, at the time of viewing, inspires reactions ranging from outrage ("What a waste of my time!") to bafflement ("What's the point?"). It's certainly cold, observing an ensemble of characters tied together overtly and incongruously through the opening sequence of street violence.

Following a clearly telegraphed prologue in a classroom for the deaf where no one can figure out what a little girl is miming (theme: miscommunication), Haneke details within a single, unbroken shot four characters -- a young man, his brother's girlfriend, a homeless woman, an angry black schoolteacher -- whose paths cross on a busy Paris street corner. The young man, Jean (Alexandre Hamidi) tosses a crumpled bag into the lap of the homeless woman (Luminita Gheorghiu), a motiveless crime springing from his own insouciance. The black teacher (Ona Lu Yenke) demands the youth apologize, using physical force to make his point. The police break it up, taking the black man away in handcuffs. Race, class, righteousness, and passive observance collide, and each party involved carries the moral baggage.

Continue reading: Code Unknown Review

Funny Games Review


Good
What happened to the good old fashioned insane killer? Where did he go? Can we get him back? Hell, it can even be a she these days. Come on, people, aren't you a little tired of being told "everything is OK?" Earlier this year, Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects had a family of murdering hillbillies that slashed and mutilated without rhyme or reason: They just liked it and, sometimes, it served a purpose. But we weren't given a real reason, and it made it all the more chilling. Think of the recent films that have been short of classic because of worn-out explanations; it really is heartbreaking (best example: Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo). Truth be told, you have to look at a movie like Michael Haneke's Funny Games and question what you think about cruelty, brutality, and safety, with stories like these running around.

So, everyone needs eggs, regardless of the cholesterol scares in the country. It is this need that brings Paul (Arno Frisch) and Peter (Frank Giering) to the summer home of a well-to-do couple and their son. Peter, a shy, young man, asks for a few eggs and is given them, but he drops them by accident. This continues to happen until Anna (Susanne Lothar), the wife, gets frustrated and asks him to leave. Then Peter enters, with the homicidal swagger of Frank Sinatra playing Hannibal Lecter. Peter thinks Anna is being rude to his friend and demands more eggs. What happens next? Details shouldn't be discussed further, but Peter and Paul put Anna, her husband Georg (Ulrich Mühe), and their son Georgie (Stefan Clapczynski) through a series of games that range from perverse to blood-curdling.

Continue reading: Funny Games Review

The Piano Teacher Review


Excellent
Older innocence collides with youthful wisdom in this slow-moving but consistently impressive and unsettling look at spinsterhood. A startlingly bland-featured Isabelle Huppert stars as the title role, a woman so tied to her obsessive mother that she has grown up with unnaturally hindered emotional reactions.

At just over two hours long, one might assume that the inner turmoil would take exhausting eye strain to build, but writer/director Michael Haneke (from a novel by Elfriede Jelinek) craftily structures a detailed, deeply disturbing environment in the first five minutes. As Professor Kohut (Huppert) comes home late one night, her mother (Annie Girardot) violently searches her purse to gain some intelligence about what she's up to. A middle-aged woman forced to answer to a parent is enough, but Haneke takes this dysfunction a step further by concentrating on physical interaction. It's far more powerful to see these two women smacking each other than giving one another the stereotypical guilt-ridden lectures other family dramas often fall back on.

Continue reading: The Piano Teacher Review

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Michael Haneke Movies

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Amour Trailer

Amour Trailer

Anne and Georges are a devoted, elderly couple who both used to be music teachers....

Amour Movie Review

Amour Movie Review

A striking look at a long-term relationship, this film is an antidote to those who...

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The White Ribbon Trailer

The White Ribbon Trailer

Watch the trailer for The White Ribbon Set in a German Protestant village in late...

Funny Games (2008) Movie Review

Funny Games (2008) Movie Review

Have we grown this cynical? Is the world in 2008 so devoid of intellectual pursuits...

The Piano Teacher Movie Review

The Piano Teacher Movie Review

Older innocence collides with youthful wisdom in this slow-moving but consistently impressive and unsettling look...

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