Mr. Movie

Amour: It will tug at your heartstrings

Until now, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour were the only Oscar-nominated films not to make it to a Tri-City screen. You'll want to see this one. Michael Haneke is the best writer/director on the planet that most of you have never heard of.

Amour, like his The White Ribbon, Funny Games and Cache, is deep, rich, dark and disturbing. However, the dark edges around this movie are more subtle than his previous projects. Georges and Anne are in their mid-80s. They live a quiet life in their Paris home. Then she has a debilitating stroke. It tests their love and their resolve.

Essentially a two-person play put to film, Haneke digs deep into heavy emotional territory. Haneke's genius makes their struggle your own. You sympathize with and even pity both characters. The end of life is hard, and when his movie reaches its difficult climax, you're prepared but unprepared.

Amour got the Palme d'Or at Cannes and is a shoo-in to win the Oscar for last year's best foreign film. It was also nominated as best picture. The 85-year old Emmanuelle Riva -- the oldest ever nominated -- has a real shot at winning the best actress award at the Feb. 24 Oscars.

Director: Michael Haneke

Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignat, Isabelle Huppert

Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.