We're used to Michael Haneke films being difficult viewing experiences, but Amour is something different from this great filmmaker. Often accused of being coldly remote, cynical even, Haneke has now created a film that hits you in the gut, and elicits a deeper emotional response than any of his features have in the past.
To watch Georges (Trintignant) care for his stricken wife Anne (Riva) is to witness an almost heroic act of love and tenderness, and while a film about an elderly woman slowly deteriorating after a stroke may sound like the most depressing experience imaginable, there's something inspirational about Amour.
The title is appropriate because the film presents an aspect of love that few films have dared to explore, and while Haneke's trademark intelligence and rigour is apparent in every frame, the compassion he shows towards these characters feels new. Of course, he is aided by two of French cinema's great icons, with the courageous, dignified performances offered by Trintignant and Riva here being simply beyond praise.