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  • Summary: Berlin, the Romantic Era. Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his skeptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. It is whilst coming to terms with this refusal, ineffably distressed by his cousin's insensitivity toBerlin, the Romantic Era. Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his skeptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. It is whilst coming to terms with this refusal, ineffably distressed by his cousin's insensitivity to the depth of his feelings, that Heinrich meets Henriette, the wife of a business acquaintance. Heinrich's subsequent offer to the beguiling young woman at first holds scant appeal, that is until Henriette discovers she is suffering from a terminal illness. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Scout Tafoya
    Mar 20, 2015
    100
    Amour fou, has gone some of the way towards correcting the historical imbalance of interest in the suicide pact. She’s taken liberties with the facts of the case for dramatic effect, but also because two centuries is a long time to go without someone wondering whether Vogel being shot point blank in the chest was entirely consensual.
  2. Reviewed by: James Lattmier
    Mar 15, 2015
    88
    Jessica Hausner is less interested in historical revisionism than mining this real-life tragedy for its existential thrust.
  3. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Mar 17, 2015
    83
    The artificiality is funny but also thematically resonant: This is a film about fake feelings, the invented romance for which two strangers forfeited their futures. And to Hausner, such a colossal waste of potential deserves not a melodramatic tribute, but the cinematic equivalent of an eye-roll.
  4. Reviewed by: Nikola Grozdanovic
    Mar 17, 2015
    75
    What makes Amour Fou a fascinating, if at times frustratingly idle experience, is that it seems to be saying so much with its upfront style, injections of black humor, and focus on stifled feminine disposition, yet still feels disappointingly unresponsive when mulling it over in your head.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 18, 2015
    75
    The very German lack of emotion is so acute it can be hard to tell when Hausner’s playing for laughs, but Friedel is hilariously — if morbidly — tedious as the tortured writer whose pickup line is, “Would you care to die with me?”
  6. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 17, 2015
    70
    it can be a strategically off-putting movie yet one that also steals under your skin scene by scene and through Ms. Schnoeink’s slowly revealing performance as an ill-fated heroine turned future biographical footnote.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 17, 2015
    50
    Hausner’s previous feature, Lourdes, was sometimes frustratingly opaque, but at least it had a discernible pulse. Here, she seems more interested in period décor and symmetrical compositions than in Kleist, Vogel, or any of the ideas they espouse and/or embody. Her impressive formalism is hollow.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 23, 2015
    5
    Meticulously directed by Jessica Hausner, AMOUR FOU should not be confused with the many French films called L'AMOUR FOU. This story ofMeticulously directed by Jessica Hausner, AMOUR FOU should not be confused with the many French films called L'AMOUR FOU. This story of poet/playwright Heinrich von Klest and his desire for an amorous double suicide in 1810 is amazing to look at and experience. Wonderfully acted and quite bizarre--a German story told by Austrians will always have a wit and crazy sophistication no German could dream of. Despite all this, AMOUR FOU simply doesn't jell. Once again, a talented filmmaker shot down by lack of focus and too many ideas. I kept asking, "What does this romance have to do with Prussian social change?" which actually takes up more screen time than the double suicide but to little avail. But there is brilliance here such as a scene when von Kleist once again pursues a singer to be his love in the double suicide. All in a totally whacky scene that seems downright pompous and, dare I say it, normal. And bravo once again to the dogs in this film which nearly steal the show! Expand

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