Michael Haneke is a very cold, very cruel filmmaker. This gloomy character study, ostensibly the story of how a refined, elderly Parisian man and wife (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) cope with terminal illness, crushes the spark of love like an unwanted cigarette butt on the sidewalk. Riva and Trintignant perform ably, as does Isabelle Huppert in a small role as the couple’s daughter, but we should expect no mercy from Haneke, maker of The White Ribbon
. The ironically titled Amour
, for all the writer-director’s skill in constructing his perverse little fables, is a bitter, pitiless piece of work. We can admire its components but are repulsed by its vision (127 min.)
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A bitter, pitiless piece of work.