Amour (movie) - Someone please explain the ending to me [herewith lie spoilers]

An outstanding film with a perplexing ending.

My questions:

Why did Georges seal the cracks in the door with tape? To contain the odor of death? If so, why bother? It’s not like a timely rescue would revive Anne.

When Anne appeared in the kitchen washing dishes, then leading Georges out the door - was this a depiction of Georges’ death, with Anne leading him to the other side?

Finally, at the very end, who was the woman who entered the apartment and sat there staring? What was that all about?


That was definitely their daughter who we met in a few scenes earlier. What was confusing to me was whether that scene was meant chronologically to be before or after the opening scene of the film when the landlord and the medical personel discover Anne’s body.

If it’s before the opening scene, and the daughter is the one to discover the apartment empty and the sealed door (we don’t see her discover it, but one assumes she would have), then one would assume that she would notify the landlord and escort him and the others into the apartment.

If the closing scene with the daughter comes after the opening scene when the landlord forces entry to escort the medical personel, then one would assume that the daughter had already been notified and no cause for confusion.

I did believe that George abandoned the apartment, I don’t think he died in his room. His vision of her could have been her leading him to death, but I interpreted as him seeing her encouraging him to leave that his job is finished and he did right by her.

The daughter definitely comes into the empty apartment after George and Anne have been removed (you see the empty bed). My inference (after some post-film discussion) was that it was a first wistful visit back after the burial.

I didn’t believe that George had abandoned the apartment; instead (I thought) he went to his little room off the kitchen and perished, perhaps hallucinating about Anne coming to get him in his last moments. I also thought he taped the doors because he wanted time to die before Anne was discovered. Just my theory though.

I briefly thought that the final scene with Anne and Georges was a flashback, but I think it was his final thought before dying: her leading him out of this life. That said, I would really be surprised if Michael Haneke (and his characters, in this case) believed in any sort of afterlife, so I don’t think she was supposed to be taking him to anywhere. Georges just believe that she was just helping him off this mortal coil.

I have my own question: was the pigeon supposed to represent something? Or was Georges chasing it around with the blanket just supposed to serve as a moment of levity? (Or as close as Haneke can get to levity.)

Was that a tense scene for you? It was for me! When he closed the window I thought he was going to kill it, but I think instead he was looking for some kind of contact, having decided to close himself into the apartment. I also thought at the end he was writing letters to Anne in preparation for, as you say, shuffling off the mortal coil.

Note also that the windows were found open in that room, per the police discussion.

I agree with the theory that George died in the extra room off the kitchen, likely in his sleep and the scene with Anne leading him out the door was George’s death dream/hallucination (or simply narrative device).

The taping, though, I think may have been to prevent the odor of Anne’s body from flooding into the apartment. I don’t know if George thought he’d die so soon after.

And the last scene seemed to me to be after the opening scene, after both George and Anne died. That is also the first time we see their actual dining room and what a nice apartment it really was, especially when it was all open like that.

A bird in the house means death (old wives tale). That’s what I took the scene as.

Then, when Georges cradled the animal in a blanket I thought he might wring its neck. As Maserschmidt mentioned, though, I think he was just grateful to be able to hold something that, being alive, represented life.

Absolutely. Actually, I found a lot of this movie very tension-inducing. The way that the camera stayed perfectly still for long takes really made my stomach twist (in a good way), even though we were just watching Georges walk around the apartment. It gave the movie a very interesting feel.

I like that idea a lot, that’s he’s trying to grasp one last bit of life through the bird. Very moving.

Hey! Sony Pictures posted the script online…I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Here’s the scene with the pigeon:

Reading other people’s thoughts has made me like the movie more. On reflection the last scene is definitely after George and Anne died, the daughter revisiting their home. Seeing the apartment doors thrown open made me realize how claustrophobic it became throughout the movie. I thought George capturing the pigeon was in response to the helplessness he felt towards Anne, here was something he could give life back to…

Remember Eve, the daughter’s, talks with her father early in the film. She and her Brit husband had made bad investments - she was obsessed with acquiring real estate. I think the last scene showed her now in possession of a great Paris apartment and she was sitting there cooly assessing her future. It was long after the bodies had been removed and the obsequies were over.

I was puzzled by the ambiguity of the death and the symbolism of the couple walking out of the apartment, and now I want to see the beginning scenes again to take more notice of windows open in which rooms, and if there was any indication they entered the small room off the kitchen where presumably his body was found. At that point we aren’t familiar with the layout of the flat so I need to see it again.

I loved the scene where he fired the nurse.

I didn’t get that read on it. Here’s more from the script, for what it’s worth:

I’d like to revisit that scene again. I don’t recall them going into the kitchen, but to your point I certainly had no idea it might mean something if they did.

That’s a great scene. I also found myself unexpectedly moved when the neighbor commented on how strong he was being.

After reading comments here, I watched the opening scene again:
When the police enter the apartment at the beginning of the movie, there are TWO rooms that have been sealed with tape from the outside. One is the bedroom in which Anne’s body is discovered, the other is George’s study(?). We don’t see this second room being opened. In other words, he must have taped his study closed and then left the apartment, possibly led out by Anne’s “ghost”.

Why tape his own room closed? Maybe he leaves his “self” entombed in the apartment with Anne? My guess is that he was probably found wandering aimlessly in the street, but what happens to George is not really relevant. The focus of the movie is their relationship. In the end they’re both gone.

A brilliant, haunting movie.

I think a combination on reflection.

The daughter visiting the apartment was long after the death of Anne and George. She had not previously been given a key and would always knock for entry via George. She was contemplating her future with mixed emotions from the guilt and void of her parents passing and it’s nature, but embracing the light in terms of her own life with the apartment, hence the fresh vision of the apartment.

On the passing of Anne, George had sealed the room to prevent the inhabitants of the building finding Anne before he passed. The bedroom had two doors which he sealed.
George passed in the spare bedroom ‘Chambrette’ which was always referred to in the film when something was ‘lost’ in the film, as George was in his last hours/days.

The smell which the police clearly found so intense was due to George’s unsealed tomb, as Anne was still sealed in her tomb with the window open. There was no sign of of our in the bedroom when the body was discovered with the flowers. This gives us closure by confirming that George died rapidly of heartbreak as is so common in life long couples, and Anne led him to his redemption based on her knowledge of his image… Cruel at times, but loving… Which summed up his final acts smothering Anne, and her back in control as she was in their partnership before the stroke.

Incredible experience this film.

Hi. It is 2015 and I just recently saw a preview of this movie and just had to watch it. I had never heard of it when it first came out. Yet, I can honestly say better late than to never have seen it. Its a foreign film with only English subtitles, but well worth the reading, and watching. In the beginning of the film, it opens up with how the body of Anne is discovered…I truly feel it’s a given that Georges was in the spare bedroom dead. It just didn’t show it in the opening bcuz it wud of spoiled the rest of the movie completely. This movie showed a lifetime of love that didn’t just die without trials, tests, and compassion. Georges proves his love thru all he does for Anne. He fired the second nurse bcuz she didn’t treat Anne with dignity as he felt she so deserved. He realized Anne had given up and he came to a decision that moment she refused the water. Which inturn broke his heart and frustrated him so much, that he acted out instantly with a slap to her left cheek. Which made him feel so guilty, that is when I think it all hit him to put her out of her misery. So he taped off the doors, picked out her best dress, went and bought flowers to adorn her with, and tidied up and write his daughter one last letter of how things went. In the process of writing the pigeon showed up. I do believe this distraction had two purposes. Firstly, I think the pigeon represented life that he could hold next to his heart, and secondly, he set it free (as he stated in the letter) it was symbolic of all he had gone thru and that he was letting go…moving on. I feel that he saw Anne in the kitchen as his last vivid thot before dying bcuz it was comforting. He had already proven he had very vivid dreams in the movie, like the nightmare of walking into the water in the hallway, bcuz he was feeling overwhelmed already knowing she had had a stroke at breakfast. Now as for the daughter coming into the apartment in the end…I feel she walked thru and as she had told Georges, she felt they wud always be together and it comforted her. I feel she sat down reminiscing of their life and was comforted just by being there after the funeral had been done and things were over.
What a absolute brilliant, moving, and thought provoking emotional movie. It was something you won’t see in years to come with how many people get divorced in today’s world. Nobody stays married for a lifetime anymore…Truly sad. The two main characters had shared a lifetime of love and that to was the reason Anne had Georges get the photo albums even tho it seemed rather inconvenient that they were eating st the time she wanted them…it was bcuz she knew she had little time left, and she wanted to look over their life together and share with him her feelings of their life of love in a way she knew would impact. So many subtle, yet HUGE nuances thru out the movie. I LOVED it, and think it was wonderfully acted and directed. Great story…A MUST SEE…