December 31, 2012
Georges and Anne, an elderly couple whose serene life was turned upside down when Anne suffered consecutive strokes leaving her bedridden. You already know that you should get yourself ready for one depressing emotional ride for the next two hours.
Senior French stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play their age here very naturally. Too good in fact, we feel they are actually our own parents going through this ordeal. We get carried away by the jumble of emotions that Georges must be feeling seeing his beloved Anne caught in such a helpless situation. In my line of work, I see couples in this same predicament, and they really try their best to carry one with dignity, without much sentimentality. I felt this was captured very well.
The film was shot with unmistakable skill. The photography and camera angles were so good, contributing much to the drama unfolding on the screen. Of course, there are those nebulous "symbolic" scenes with pigeons and paintings we see in art films.
As a film, technically this is clearly a winner. Ultimately though, the climax is what will make or break this film. Will it make you feel love or feel the total opposite? I did not see it coming, and I wish something else happened than what was shown on screen. Personally I think only European cinema can come up with something as frank as this. I would rather remember the whole film without that climactic (anti-climactic?) moment.