FILM: Amour (12A)

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Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke has never shied away from the uncomfortable, harsh realities of modern life, and in Amour he crafts a heartbreaking love story threaded with raw emotion, tenderness and regret that is almost too much to bear.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are stunning as elderly married couple Georges and Anne.

Anne’s balmy retirement is shattered when she suffers a minor stroke and as her condition deteriorates, she makes clear her suffering - “I don’t want to go on...” Haneke charts the couple’s final days and weeks together with unflinching honesty, refusing to look away as the doting wife is rendered an empty shell and Georges clings on to memories of the past to prevent him sinking into the depths of despair.

Amour delights in the minutiae of Georges and Anne’s relationship - those small, seemingly insignificant moments that come to mean so much as the wife drifts away. Haneke’s direction is flawless, making him a strong contender for consideration in the forthcoming awards season.

Released: November 16 (UK & Ireland, selected cinemas), 127 mins