Amour and Euthanasia: The New Chic

Somebody else is calling Amour what it is: propaganda for euthanasia.

Back in the ‘70s the tear-jerker movies were about people dying of cancer. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was people dying of AIDS. For the 21st century, the new chic is euthanasia/assisted suicide/”mercy killing” movies. Million Dollar Baby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The English Patient, The Sea Inside, Un Dimanche à Kigali, Le Temps qui Reste, The Barbarian Invasion (Les Invasions Barbares), Magnus – all have taken on euthanasia/assisted suicide/”mercy killing” from the point of view of non-disabled white people and come to the same conclusion; great idea!

I am still amazed at the lack of any kind of outrage at the ending of Amour. This is, after all, a movie in which the husband smothers his wife in the end. That is, after all, murder. And yet, no one in the whole Oscar landscape even noted the fact. I choked when the Oscar speech introducing Amour told us all, “This is a movie that showed us all what real love looks like.” REALLY!?!?! “Real love” smothers the beloved with a pillow?! No, never. EVER.

  • SDG

    “Somebody else” has significantly mischaracterized more than one movie in that lineup.

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  • Mike

    It wasn’t murder or a killing because it was “compassionate”, see? Acts are defined by the psychological state one is in when committing the act not by its objective effects. Now that is progress!

    • J. Bob

      One has to wonder, where is the subjective line, between “compassionate” & convenient? Acts are acts. While they may be mitigated by other factors, they are still acts.

      A good case might be the Corleone family’s compartmentalizing conscience, so that a “business” decision was OK.

      • barbaranicolosi

        J. – I am less concerned with the subjective line, and more with the objective one.

  • Adolfo

    Have you read Jeffrey Overstreet’s review over at Looking Closer? I’d be interested in your thoughts on it as you and Mr. Overstreet are two people whose opinions on film I most admire.

    • barbaranicolosi

      I haven’t. We don’t seem to be doing the same thing.

  • BlueFox94

    How exactly does “THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY” support any of those? Isn’t it just about a guy who has his book written by others, communicating with his blinking? Doesn’t the guy just happen to pass away just after the book his released?

    • barbaranicolosi

      Blue – I don’t remember the film well enough to answer this. I saw it, but I kept falling asleep, so I can’t really say what happened in the end. I was more interested in the ‘Amour’ citation than in the other films noted there.

  • Underhill

    Barbara, it seems you’ve stirred the pot over at Arts & Faith again.

    [Barb responds with the rolling of the eyeballs]

    Oh, how I wish you and Mr. Overstreet could engage each other face to face!

    [Barb responds] I wouldn’t want to tear him away from writing euphoric dramatic panegyrics to films like “Blue Like Jazz” and “The Master.” (heh heh)

  • Renard N. Bansale

    Ms. Nicolosi, I was wondering if you could commentate on “BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR”. The film, apparently an explicit 3 hr. lesbian tale, just won the Palme D’Or at Cannes (bestowed by a Spielber-led jury) and it sickens me that it beat the Coen Bros., Asghar Farhadi, and Alexander Payne.

    Aware and pleased with your analysis on last year’s Cannes winner “AMOUR”, could you comment on “BLUE…”‘s victory and on the Cannes film festival in general?

    • brnicolosi

      I can’t imagine I will be seeing that film. It just sounds like filth to me. Count on some of the other Christian critics here on patheos to sympathetically review it.

  • ForsythiaTheMariner

    What?? Where I live we dont have access to most movies, and i didnt do any reading up on AMOUR, but …the husband smothers his wife?? Really? How horrible and yes, not in any way love.
    Also, i would add another pro-euthanisia movie to that list. If i remember correctly, it was called IGBY GOES DOWN.
    I still get this horrible feeling when i recall that last scene.