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Georges and Anne are a couple of retired music teachers enjoying life in their eighties. However, Anne suddenly has a stroke at breakfast and their lives are never the same. That incident begins Anne's harrowingly steep physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home as she wishes. Even as the fruits of their lives and career remain bright, the couple's hopes for some dignity prove a dispiriting struggle even as their daughter enters the conflict. In the end, George, with his love fighting against his own weariness and diminished future on top of Anne's, is driven to make some critical decisions for them both. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It was bound to happen. A film encompasses the soul and meaning of love and executes the physical and emotional demand it requires to be told effectively and correctly. That film is Michael Haneke's Amour. Haneke steers the film effortlessly, as if he were telling a shot-for-shot story of his own experiences. He constructs and creates two real and authentic people, Georges (Jean-Louis Tringnant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva). It's wonderful to see Haneke allow the powerful leads to feel and interpret these people of their own accord. It's one of his finest writing efforts of his career. Tringnant's heart is visible and available for all the viewers to see. He's fearless as he walks through the film frail and broken yet confident and composed. He challenges the audience to empathize and question our own reactions and reality. Same goes Riva, who does everything right that was wrong with similar performances like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby (2004). Riva goes above and beyond the call of duty, wearing Anne on her skin with vulnerability. It's one of the great performances of the year by any woman in any category. The two leads together is even more brilliant than when they're apart. Adding in the talents of Isabelle Hupert as Eva, the daughter of our married couple who finds her own love tested, is wonderfully operational. While many will chalk this film up to depression and elderly inevitability, I don't share the same sentiments. The film is front to back about love, pure and simple. The events circle a morose and saddened sequence but Georges and Anne is the great love story of the year. The film dares you to find someone you love that much, in both perspectives. Haneke focuses on the couple with no outside stories of their neighbors, life before these events, or extra characters. He puts them in the spotlight, front and center. Amour could be the best film of the year and is the best film of the New York Film Festival so far.
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