Amour (2012, France) *****

Amour takes its time to painstakingly play out, in a realistic style, the last few months in the lives of an elderly couple. It is not a pretty picture. The woman, a retired piano teacher, suffers a stroke and her health deteriorates while her husband is trying to care for her. Superb acting by the two main characters, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, as well as the daughter, played by Isabelle Huppert, combined with classic filmmaking by writer/director Michael Haneke, make this film unforgettable. The plot moves mostly chronologically, though skips in time, with an ending that is thoughtful, yet confusing to some. The setup, taking place for the bulk majority of the film inside the couple’s apartment, makes the audience feel like its peering through a candid camera into the these private painful last moments. It is not an easy film to watch.