The latest film by celebrated writer/director/provocateur Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon, Amour, Funny Games) is a darkly satirical family drama with a nasty streak of scathing humor.
“A satanic soap opera of pure sociopathy … Michael Haneke returns to many of his classic themes in this stark, unforgiving and gripping satire.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Set in Calais, where illegal migrants wander the streets, Happy End focuses on the monstrously-dysfunctional well-to-do Laurent family. Controlling matriarch Anne (Isabelle Huppert) runs a construction company and is about to get engaged to a banker (Toby Jones)—once he approves a big loan for her company—and hopes that her handsome playboy son (Franz Rogowski) will become interested in learning the business. Also sharing the large family mansion is Anne’s doctor brother Thomas (Mathieu Kassovitz) with his second wife and their new baby, plus wispy 13-year-old computer-savvy daughter Eve (Fantine Harduin), who has just come to live with him because her mother (Thomas’s ex first wife) is in a drug-overdose coma. Anne and Thomas’s elderly father (Jean-Louis Trintignant, reunited with his Amour daughter Huppert) drifts through the household, worried he is starting to lose his mind. A scathing takedown of the bourgeoisie, Happy End is a satanically mixed brew that Haneke stirs with dazzling inspiration. (Dir. by Michael Haneke, 2017, France/Austria/Germany, in English and French with English subtitles, 107 mins., Rated R)