Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
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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)
Michael Haneke said that with this film and its story and setting, he wanted to achieve the three classical unities of space, time and action. The movie thus has an extremely tightly constructed elliptical structure and the entire story takes place within a single house over a limited period of time. See more »
When Georges and Anne are eating together he first cuts her food for her with a Laguiole knife. Later on he is holding a classic knife with a round point. See more »
[telling a childhood memory]
... some banal romance or other about a nobleman and a lower middle-class girl who couldn't have each other and who then, out of sheer magnanimity, decide to renounce their love - in fact, I don't quite remember it any more. In any case, afterwards I was thoroughly distraught, and it took me a bit of time to calm down. In the courtyard of the house where gradma lived, there was a young guy at the window who asked me where I'd been. He was a couple of years older than...
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This is a beautiful movie about the end of life. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are excellent as Georges and Anne. Their story is nothing new, we've seen it before (like most stories), but it is told with poignancy. This is a character piece that could be a slog for some. There are a few extraneous scenes that make the 127 minute film feel longer but, though the story takes place almost entirely inside their apartment, I never felt the sense of claustrophobia. There is an intimacy that at time's made me feel I was watching the couple from across the courtyard from my own apartment. It is a true statement of love between a husband and wife.
I must say I felt a little betrayed by the trailer. It depicts what I take to be a much darker narrative, almost sinister and the word 'attack' in the synopsis doesn't necessarily allude to a medical condition. I think I'd like to see that movie a little more.
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