Definitely my pick for the Oscar.
Its simple title – love – has been confusing me since I first heard of the film. Naturally, I have had to watch it to grasp its true, complex meaning. While the story centers around a married elderly couple, Georges and Anne, and their lives after Anne suffers a stroke, the title is not reserved for them alone. Rather, it is there to point out the extent to which this word is absent from everyday interactions.
Georges who is left to look after his wife’s well being has to pay everyone else for their services – the hospital guys for delivering the wife back home, the neighbouring couple for going grocery shopping, the nurses – even the bad one. Love has been replaced with currency, Haneke (writer and director) suggests. No one in this film is motivated by the feeling, everyone is simply focused on what they will gain; except for Anne’s former student. He is the only one who acts out of gratitude. Before she suffered a stroke, Anne was a piano teacher. When the students visits, the couple recount about how much they loved his concert, and remark that they had neglected to buy his CD. They make a point of how they wanted to purchase his CD because they wanted to contribute to his career. Later on in the movie, they receive his disc in the mail. I felt a warmth around my heart at the gesture which stands out from the ruthless, business-like interactions among the rest of the individuals in the film.
Oddly enough, it is this absence of love that awakened my sense of humanity in me, making me even more sympathetic towards my fellow human beings.
The film also reminded me that life can always get worse, and that we should enjoy every single second of our existence. So have a good, JOYOUS life everyone!!