Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Written & Directed by: Michael Haneke
How good is this movie?
A tragic yet oddly comforting story about an elderly couple’s final months together. There are no big dramatic scenes, just little moments in day-to-day life. We first encounter them sharing the comfortable companionship that comes with years of familiarity. When Anne gets sick, Georges cares for her with steadfast tenderness, while Anne does what she can to reassure him. This is not the passionate love of youth, but something much deeper, the strength of which is revealed only as Anne continues to decline. The ending may be inevitable, but what we are left with is not desolation. Instead, what remains is the image of a love that survives hardship and endures beyond death.
How ace is this movie?
We don’t see any sex between the characters, but this seems due to their age and the fact that one of them has a terminal illness. They clearly have had sex, and Eva even comments on it, saying that, as a child, it comforted her to hear her parents’ lovemaking. The film is also clearly celebrating love within a heterosexual marriage. However, this endorsement is not universal, as Eva has a troubled relationship with her husband. It would be more fair to say that the film presents love in its most idealised form – a form that, we may all acknowledge, very few relationships will ever achieve.
4.5 Stars; 3 Aces