Emmanuelle Riva was a super actress in this movie. She played Anne Laurent, the wife who is afflicted by the stroke. We watch her character develop from a capable, beautiful wife to a woman completely dependent on her husband for the most basic needs – eating, drinking and toileting. A shadow of her former self.
Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Georges, Anne’s husband. He becomes her sole carer following her stroke. While this film isn’t flashy, it is quiet and dignified in a way that only foreign films can be. What people probably don’t get (or can’t understand – take your pick!) in foreign films is that nothing happens. Yes, things occur. But it is all done so quietly; made up of many interlinked conversations that don’t seem to have any point at all. Many of the scenes are long and drawn-out.
But it shows the genuine fear of loss of control over yourself and others. The acclaim it received from both the Academy Awards and Cannes was justified.
MY RATING: 4.5 / 5.