The Michael Haneke movies that I’ve seen – Funny Games, The Piano Teacher, and The White Ribbon – I’ve not liked. Amour which won a Palme d’Or at Cannes (2012) and an Oscar for best foreign language film (2013) is the story of an elderly couple – Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) – both retired piano teachers whose lives are shockingly altered when Anne has a stroke. We watch Georges, as suffering caregiver, and Anne as she progresses into into debilitating paralysis and dementia.

Haneke’s signature style is the grotesque depiction of that which is often painful, shameful, awful, confusing and difficult in life. He has a knack for finding the underbelly of human situations and poking away with a steely gaze. Of course life dishes out to each of us – suffering, pain, agony and degradation ; but bubbles of joy, laughter, fun, hope and love also permeate reality.

Art that shows only the sordid and the suffering, and fails to bring forth also the other – a glimmer of the ever-present transcendent, that only art is capable of showing us, is a hollow art. Hank’s obvious brilliance means that he could have gone further, he could have found the silver lining that is always there – then Amour would have been transformed into an extraordinary film.

‘Amour’ Trailer