Haneke is one of my favorite directors, but he is mighty intense, and it’s not at all surprising that it’s taken me five years to get to this. In fact this DVD has been sitting on my shelf for well over a month as I avoided watching it!
It’s a masterpiece. The actors are superb. The light is out of the most melancholy Vermeer ever. The script is crisp and nuanced, pellucid and mysterious, relentlessly denotative and playfully connotative. I think Robert Frost would have appreciated it.
Beyond the movie’s particular accomplishments, it’s in principle just so moving — and so rare — to see aging and dying represented with clarity and honesty.
There’s a sub-theme which I think concerns the possibility that art is not a consolation in the face of mortality. I don’t really want to think about it.
So many amazing moments, and such terrific editing. At one point, we cut to a young woman housekeeper vigorously vacuuming the rug, and the shock of her energy, her vitality, after we’ve been watching old people struggle with their failing bodies, is just incredible. Never thought fifteen seconds of watching someone vacuum a rug could make me cry.
I finished this several days ago and I feel like I’m still living in its aftershadow. Shouldn’t have waited so long!