Amour fou


2014 | 96 minutes | Rated NR

Amour Fou is a splendid and superbly crafted comedy for the intellectual set by Austrian director Jessica Hausner, who has an eye for details that are always busy, always interesting, but never distracting. The details effortlessly flow with the narrative, which concerns the dark desires of an early and second-rate 18th-century romantic poet, Heinrich von Kleist (Christian Friedel). You will love the dogs in this film. They enter and exit scenes as naturally as wind blowing through an open window or through the leaves of a tree. Sometimes the dogs bark, sometimes they are petted, sometimes they are doing perfectly nothing. You will also love the wardrobe and art direction. The little worlds (bedrooms, salons, carriages) of the morose poet and the married woman, Henriette Vogel (Birte Schnoeink), he thinks he loves to death are comfortable, colorful, and yet austere. In one scene, a doctor in a black and silky getup suddenly enters a dining room whose walls are painted light-blue. The moment is almost magical, almost unbelievable. But before it is too late, before the striking colors absorb the scene, the camera pans to right and we see a young family sitting at an ordinary dinner table and eating what looks like bland potatoes and sour soup. What a remarkable movie indeed.


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Film Credits
Jessica Hausner
Christian Friedel, Birte Schnoeink, Stephan Grossmann, Katharina Schüttler, Sebastian Hülk, Sandra Huller, Eva-Maria Kurz, Hana Lopes