Final Day - Thursday, February 22!
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL HANEKE
From Michael Haneke, Oscar-winning director of CACHÉ, THE WHITE RIBBON, and AMOUR, comes a multi-generational drama starring Isabelle Huppert and Mathieu Kassovitz as chilly siblings, with Jean-Louis Trintignant as the paterfamilias of their upper class family of French developers. Situated in a grand home in Calais (site of the “Jungle,” a notorious refugee camp), Trintignant and Huppert revisit their edgy father-daughter relationship from AMOUR. While HAPPY END is not a sequel to that film, it does continue the director’s focus upon (in Manohla Dargis’s words in The New York Times): “…the rot and wretchedness of the bourgeoisie… [with an] emphasis again on surveillance culture, class pathology and anomie…” Haneke masterfully withholds information -- then powerfully shocks you with one profound revelation after another, much of it tinged with his signature nihilistic black humor.
FRANCE / GERMANY/ AUSTRIA • 2017 • 107 MINS. • IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
“The unsurprisingly excellent Isabelle Huppert helps lighten Michael Haneke’s HAPPY END, yet another of his movies about the rot and wretchedness of the bourgeoisie. Ms. Huppert plays the powerhouse figure in a multigenerational family that’s falling apart, a dominatrix role she imbues with moments of delectable offbeat comedy. Mr. Hanke’s greatness as filmmaker is never in question during this immaculately directed work…”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“A wealthy family of monsters. Haneke’s masterful Euro-Gothic touch and a riveting cast headlined by Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant give it a modernist update and a note of black humor… Haneke’s dry filming style and geometrically balanced framing are, as always, a great pleasure to watch, creating not just an unsettling atmosphere but revealing hidden meanings, along with Christian Berger’s crisp and businesslike lighting, Oliver Radot’s stylish set design and editor Monika Willi’s near-perfect cutting.”
– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“Michael Haneke is up to his old tricks… returning to obsessions that haunted his earlier work - from cultural nihilism to bourgeois solipsism, cold-hearted murder to compassionate end-of-life solutions... Reuniting with DP Christian Berger- whose rigid formalism set the look of CACHE and THE WHITE RIBBON - he catalogues this new family’s dysfunction at a distance, all but announcing that their sins are those of Europe at large. HAPPY END is a complex, minutely detailed mystery in which every member of the Laurent household contributes… Everyone here has secrets they’re hiding, though Georges’ and Eve’s illicit desires emerge as the most fascinating… Both factor into a final shot that ranks among the most chilling of Haneke’s career, even as it earns the darkest of laughs.”
– Peter Debruge, Variety
“It’s pure Haneke crack. (He) has a fascinating, mysterious approach to assembling the layers of narrative. Becomes an engrossing portrait… a fascinating world. Trintignant is extraordinary in his stern, candid delivery. As a scathing look at the vanity of the bourgeois, it’s riveting to watch and wonder who will crack first. A maze of tonal possibilities, veering from hypnotic monologues about tragic feelings to twisted developments that venture into the realm of dark comedy… One of the very best endings in his filmography to date.”
– Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“Austere, darkly comic and stunning cinema. A nourishing cerebral treat that will nestle itself in the back of the mind to grow forevermore as yet another brilliant entry in the filmmaker’s intimidating catalog. This is very much the furious and enraged Haneke we’ve seen in BENNY’S VIDEO, THE PIANO TEACHER and CACHE, exposing society’s superficiality and paralysis through a dissection of its emblematic rich class. Percolating towards it outrageous and sizzling climax, HAPPY END weaves a multitude of threads into a collective noose… Haneke moves the Laurents like pieces on an aesthetically-pristine chess board. HAPPY END pulsates with purpose in every frame. As disturbing as it is, it also happens to be Haneke’s funniest movie to date. As an austere and darkly comic family drama, and a scathing commentary about the kind of world our children are living in, HAPPY END is stunning.”
– Nikola Grozdanovic, The Playlist