Earlier this month, we brought you the news that Michael Haneke is reteaming with Isabelle Huppert (”The Piano Teacher,” “Time of the Wolf”) and French icon Jean-Louis Trintignant (Bernardo Bertolucci‘s “The Conformist,” Eric Rohmer‘s “My Night at Maud’s,” Claude Chabrol‘s “Les Biches” to name just a few classics) for a brutal-sounding story about the agony of aging, titled “These Two.”
The picture, first announced late last year, put on the backburner and now headed into production, has been a bit of a mystery with previous descriptions of the film describing it as an exploration of the “humiliation of the physical breakdown in the elderly.” Typically fun times from Haneke. Well, IonCinema has tracked down further plot details about the upcoming film.
The site gives a nice summary of the story that will center “on cultured octogenarians Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), who are retired music teachers. Their daughter (Isabelle Huppert), also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne suffers a minor stroke. When she leaves the hospital and returns home, she is paralysed down one side. The love that binds this old couple will really be put to the test.”
Frankly, it sounds like very similar territory to Sarah Polley‘s “Away From Her,” except in this case, the focus is on a physical breakdown, rather than a mental one. And Haneke did initially cancel the project after seeing a similarly themed Canadian film (which he didn’t name). Regardless, it seems he’s found a way to bring something fresh to the material, and even though it has a way-too-straightforward plot description for a Haneke film, we’re sure he’s got something else up his sleeve to twist the narrative of the film. The film is scheduled to start a 40-day shoot in February, which could possibly mean a fall premiere at Venice or TIFF.