On Monday I watched a very sad French film about an elderly couple called 'Amour' (love).
In many ways it was a beautiful film, full of long, slow pauses, quiet soulful moments and populated by actors that looked like real people; the like of which never seem to appear any more in mainstream cinema, but which were once a more common sight.
The film is centred around two octogenarian music teachers, George and Anne, quietly enjoying their later years in upmarket Paris, until Anne suffers a stroke that leaves her paralysed down her right hand side.
The film opens in media res with a scene that leaves the audience without hope from the outset and for two hours we suffer alongside George as he struggles to preserve his wife's dignity as further strokes and dementia begins to attack her, knowing, as he does, that there can be no happy ending to this love story.
Hollywood does not make such films any more. It wouldn't know how. But someone needs to tell these stories, they are more real and say more about the human condition than even the most well spirited offering from the mainstream film industry can manage.
I cannot recommend this upsetting, thought provoking film to anyone wanting to have a pleasant trip to the cinema but as an example of storytelling and film-making at its most powerful, as a story that will haunt you for days and weeks afterwards and leave an indelible imprint on how you look at life and love, it cannot be faulted.