Michael Haneke is known as a master of unpleasant cinema; he’s a director who excels at making movies that are as punishing as they are, often, beautiful. In the case of Amour he has retreated from his more aggressive tendencies and instead pointed his unflinching lens at a much more universal story that is difficult to watching in a different way. In contract with his often heightened film universe, Amour is Haneke restrained, allowing the story of a couple going through the painful processes of aging and dying to present its own miseries and beauties- and there is beauty here.

You may think you can anticipate the way Haneke would wallow in the obvious unpleasantness of aging, but again, this is not his usual mode. He moves systematically through this story, and finds quiet places and moments to add his usual air of mystery.

He’s also not afraid to show the small joys, victories, and the bitter-sweet beauty in this process that we are all headed towards in one way or another. The performances from Emmanuella Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant are stunning, and Haneke’s best achievement is allowing it to be their film more than his own.

This US trailer presents it as a little more of a melodrama than it really is, but it still gives you an idea of the tone. It also includes one of the film’s best moments, which is in turn one of the best moments of the year.  The film doesn’t hit the states until December 19th, and even then only in New York and LA. Hopefully its horizons will widen as it picks back up the critical traction is gathered at Cannes.

via Awards Daily