4 What is a promise?Kevin1075 | 29/03/2013 | See all Kevin1075's reviews (754)Top 100 Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer Top 100 Music Reviewer Micheal Haneke's look at love and old age is a stunningly acted drama and one that could leave only the hardest of hearts entirely unmoved, even if there's a little too much distance between viewer and characters to truly become involved intimately.Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean Louis Trintigant) are long married and live in a Paris apartment together. Everything has been good in life, until Anne suffers the first in what will become a series of strokes which will leave her a shadow of herself. As Georges abides by a promise he has made to her not to send her back to a hospital the toll of caring for his wife increases.With an understatedly blunt depiction of the descent from health to debilitation, and the strains entailed the two actors give perfrormances of quiet brilliance. Especially Riva whose transformation is heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time. Although by the time the film moves to it's final stages it's impossible not to be moved by Trintigant's quiet resilience and determination to do what he can to honour his promise. The only thing I found was Haneke's tendency to keep his camera distant from the characters at times in a way that preventes me from being pulled in quite as deeply as I felt I wanted to be.Certainly, in no way a cheery film as such although there is something oddly affirming about watching this story of love and comitment play out it's characters final phase of life, but still more than worth watching for fans of art house cinema.