Ty Burr: 2. “Amour”
How many truly great movies about old age are there? Since most audiences are addicted to glamour and youth, the proper question should probably be “How few?” There’s “Make Way for Tomorrow,” “Tokyo Story,” maybe “The Straight Story”; to that short list add Michael Haneke’s austere yet unfathomably poignant film about an elderly couple coping with the wife’s long decline. The two are played by legendary French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, so the movie also bids farewell to an entire generation of movies and the audiences who cherished them. Yet “Amour” is anything but sentimental. Instead, it records the last months of human life with a level gaze that feels like the only honest and respectful response. And it marvels at how love holds the pieces of us together until the last. In a culture that knows only how to sell short-term pleasures, Haneke dares us to take the long view.