A movie being good doesn't automatically make it enjoyable, and few films prove this to be more true than Michael Haneke's Amour.
Starring two French greats, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a wealthy Parisian couple, Anne and Georges, in the final few chapters of their life together, Amour explores the inelegant and painful aspects of love in old age. As Anne suffers multiple strokes resulting in her degeneration of her physical and mental abilities, this begins the heart breaking journey for Georges, watching his life long partner slowly die. There are very few, if any, ways in which this could be an uplifting movie, and it's not, however with a 91% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's undoubtedly very good.
Rolling Stone says that Riva and Trinignant "give performances of breathtaking power and beauty", but advise to "prepare for an emotional wipeout." The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "Magnificent" but also that it's 'a deliberately torturous watch" because the audience is forced to come "face to face with the nature of love in its most unromantic and weighty moments."
In distinct contrast, The Village Voice was far less enamoured with Amour which argues that despite it's acutely emotional content it lacks feeling, saying "A movie in which incident is as spare as it is in Amour can certainly be great; a movie in which ideas and feelings are so sparse cannot." But that despite lacking ideas, feeling, and incident "Amour has a certain perfection to it."
Screen Crush seem to sum up the feeling of most though: "I am glad I saw it -- and hope I never see it again."
Amour has been nominated for the Golden Globe for 'Best Foreign Language Film' and has been tipped for more nominations at the Academy Awards which will add to it's already numerous international wins.