Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva) are retired music teachers savouring their golden years in a comfortable environment. One day, Anne suffers a stroke, which leaves her partially paralysed. As Georges struggles with the formidable task of becoming Anne's full-time caretaker, the couple's bond is severely tested.
Georges devotes himself fully to providing the best care for his beloved wife, faithfully keeping his promise to Anne not to send her to hospital or a nursing home.
The film is filled with poignancy: there are moments when Anne tells Georges she doesn't want to live any more. She even refuses to drink the water he offers her, causing him great distress and frustration. Yet he remains hopeful, and stays by her side, literally and metaphorically. And when one day, Anne cries out apparently in pain, Georges' love it put to the ultimate test.
The story is reminiscent of the wedding vows: "to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part." It reminds us of the very best sort of love: that which is unconditional.
YP Rating: 4/5