Amour Inspired By Death-Desiring Elderly Aunt, Says Michael Haneke
Few could have been expecting Amour, directed by Michael Haneke, to be in the running for five Oscar awards before the shortlists were announced last month, but that’s exactly where the film finds itself with less than a week to go until the biggest awards ceremony of the film calendar.
Talking to Reuters, the director revealed his inspiration for the film, and admitted his surprise that a film with such a non-Hollywood ending was up for nods in so many categories, including the coveted best picture. "It's no walk in the park, but it's difficult and serious, and that makes it contemplative," Haneke said of the film’s ending and themes, which surround an elderly Parisian couple’s physical and mental challenges as they arrive at life’s end.
Haneke also revealed that the inspiration for the film came from somewhere close to home – an elderly aunt who was gravely ill and asked him to help her commit suicide. “I loved her very much and to watch her suffer was very difficult, but I certainly couldn't help her (kill herself) because I'd be thrown in jail," the director said. "Personally, I don't believe I could've done it anyway."
In all likelihood, Amour won’t be winning the best picture award on February 24th, with no foreign language film ever taking the top prize in the Academy Awards 85 years. However, as Austria’s official entry into the best foreign language film category, it has a hugely strong chance of taking that win. Lest we forget, this was the film that took the top honor at least year’s celebrated Cannes Film Festival.