Still, Haneke keeps bringing us back to Georges and Anne in their spiky individuality. They’re not universal metaphors; they’re people. That’s what makes Anne’s humiliated pride so understandable and so moving: “Find yourself something to do; don’t stand there to see how I hold the book,” she snaps at her husband at one point. It’s what makes Georges’s actions late in the film comprehensible even as Haneke leaves the matter of judgment up to each of us watching.
Above all, “Amour” finds in its title the greatest mystery of human existence and the only saving grace before the lights go out. What happens between two people? Only the chemistry that keeps us from stumbling through the chaos by ourselves. Is that an illusion, too? “Amour” says it doesn’t much matter. There is no dignity in life except love.