Winner of the 2012 Palme d’Or at Cannes and with plenty more awards to come in the coming months, Austrian Director Michael Haneke’s film Amour is a story about enduring love. Georges (Jean-Loius Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are retired music teachers, living alone in their eighties in their spacious Parisian apartment. Cultured and very much in love, their relationship comes under the ultimate test when Anne suffers a stroke. Georges does his best to care for Anne who begins spiralling further and further into ill health. Against the advice of nurses and the couple’s daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert), Georges refuses to hospitalise his ailing wife and chooses to carry the burden of her care on his aging hips.
Although Amour lacks the malevolence and hard edged cruelty of some of the Director’s best known work, it is still a film which has the ability to shock. Uncharacteristically for Haneke it is also an extremely beautiful tale but also happens to be the most depressing film I’ve ever seen. I have rarely left a cinema feeling so low or despondent and it wasn’t until I was on my way home that the film’s greatness managed to shine through the dismal but ultimately beautiful plot.