Haneke's Palme d'Or winner Amour is 'utterly unmissable'

Nov 16, 2012

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva star in Haneke's movie masterpiece on love and death

What you need to know
French-language film Amour (Love) is written and directed by Austrian film-maker Michael Haneke, also known for his 2009 film The White Ribbon. Both films won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Amour focuses on an elderly couple, Anne and Georges, retired music teachers who must cope with the greatest test of their love when Anne suffers a stroke. The film stars legendary French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant as Georges and Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshina Mon Amour) as Anne. Isabelle Huppert appears as the couple's daughter Eva.

What the critics like
Michael Haneke's film is a moving, terrifying and uncompromising drama of extraordinary intimacy and intelligence, says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. It asks what love means as we approach the end of our lives. "This is film-making at the highest pitch of intelligence and insight."

Amour is devastatingly original and unflinching in its examination of love and death, says Dave Calhoun in Time Out. It's a "staggering, intensely moving" look at the end of life with two performances of "incredible skill and wisdom" from French veteran actors. "A masterpiece".

Both Trintignant and Riva are "shatteringly good", says Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph. Haneke avoids obvious mawkish emotional cues throughout. "Clear-eyed, cool-headed and profoundly humane, Amour is the consummate anti-weepie."

What they don't like
Critics have almost nothing negative to say about Amour. Empire's David Hughes admits the film is "uncomfortable, uncompromising, unflinching" but also "utterly unmissable". He adds: "Old age may not be a reality you wish to confront, but you must see this film."

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