The unflinching take on devotion, growing old and illness has also picked up Oscar nominations
for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Foreign Film and Best Actress for Emmanuelle Rivaís performance ass bed-ridden Anne.
Haneke, who is also known for 2001ís The Piano Teacher and 1997ís Funny Games and its
2007 Hollywood remake, is the favourite to win the Best Foreign Film award for which he was
nominated in 2010 for The White Ribbon. Haneke, 70, spoke to Reuters from Madrid,
where he is directing the Mozart opera Cosi Fan Tutte, about the film, what it would mean to win
an Oscar, and his future plans:
What do you make of some of the critics who, in their praise, have called the drama a horror
film for its graphic portrayal of the end of life?
I believe that it has been a bit exaggerated how the film has been portrayed. The film is shocking,
but the truth is always shocking. Itís no walk in the park, but itís difficult and serious, and that
makes it contemplative. I assume that I have an adult audience and that theyíll understand the
situation. The film shouldnít be a distraction (from life) ó as many films are ó but the film is
also not meant to shock.
What intentions did you set out with?
I wanted to make a film about how we deal with the suffering of the people that we love. I
couldíve certainly made a film about a couple married for 40 years with a child, who dies of
cancer. That would only be a tragic, singular case and less representative. But we all grow old
and nearly all of us get sick and that subject matter is more general and concerns nearly everyone
one of us. Iíve also heard in the reception to the film from people that have said itís just like what happened to me and my family. Itís a matter that affects everyone.
Did you have an inspiration for the film?
The story arose out of my family. My aunt killed herself at the age of 93 and before she
did it she asked me whether or not I could help her. I loved her very much and to watch
her suffer was very difficult, but I certainly couldnít help her (kill h e r s e l f )
because Iíd be thrown in jail. Personally, I don't believe I couldíve done it anyway.
Did you expect Amour to receive five Oscar nominations?
No, certainly not.
How will it be to be a star of sorts at the Oscars?
Star? Those who are invited are of course stars (laughs)... I certainly find it delightful to get
dressed up with these people that the entire world knows and to compete alongside them.
Itís quite enjoyable.
What will it be like if Amour wins?
Iíll be happy. Weíre happy about any prize but you donít make films to win awards. Nonetheless,
youíre certainly quite happy about the recognition. For the film, it also makes it possible
for many more to see it. And each prize piques the interest of more people to watch the film.
How much longer do you intend to keep making films?
As long as I can. I donít know that answer. I could drop dead tomorrow or fall seriously ill. Iím no longer 25 years old, but I donít plan on calling it quits anytime soon, and perhaps that annoys someone, somewhere.