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Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke (Caché, The White Ribbon) offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat is in the audience of a theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future. He asks hard questions: what do love and companionship mean when one half of a couple is facing the end? How can we cope? What’s the right way to behave? Can anyone else understand what you’re going through? What role, if any, do kindness and compassion play? And what do those words even mean in extreme circumstances? Haneke rejects the idea of death as a communal experience and presents the slow act of dying as intensely isolating. Georges and Anne’s daughter (Isabelle Huppert) and son-in-law (William Shimell) come to visit, but their own feelings and experiences are less and less connected to what’s happening in this apartment. Death creates a fortress, and it feels piercingly true. Haneke presents the stark realities of sickness, but his aim is not solely to present a realistic portrait of the end; he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt by this couple – pride, despair, impending loss, empathy and its limits. There are strong feelings at play, but there’s also an intense pragmatism afoot. Georges has made a pledge to honour Anne’s request: ‘Please never take me back to the hospital… Promise… Promise me.’ Among so many other things, this is a film about loyalty and being true to your word. Amour is a staggering, highly intelligent and astonishingly performed work. It’s a masterpiece. – Dave Calhoun, Time Out Official Trailer

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Directed by: 
Michael Haneke
Running Time: 
French with English Subtitles
Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, William Shimell
Screenplay by: 
Michael Haneke

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