AMOUR The universally acclaimed winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Amour is arguably Michael Haneke’s crowning achievement to date, a portrait of a couple dealing with the ravages of old age that is as compassionate as it is merciless. The great veteran French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are staggering as Georges and Anne, long-married music teachers living out their final years surrounded by the comforts of books and music in their warm Paris apartment. After Anne suffers a stroke, Georges attends to her with firmness shot through with love. The underlying unease, as well as some abrupt surprises, are hardly unexpected from Haneke, who challenges the viewer to confront the experience of his characters as directly as he does. But he rewards the effort with a film that is all the more moving for its complete avoidance of sentimentality. An unquestionable masterpiece. A Sony Pictures Classics release.