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Happy New Year (2011)

R | | Drama, War | 21 May 2013 (USA)
2:25 | Trailer
A war-torn marine returns home to face his fiercest battle yet - the one against himself.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Victoria (Dancer)
Gunny D (as David Wolos-Fonteno)
Dr. Keith
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sarah Babb ...
Vegan Woman


Sgt. Cole Lewis, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured vets at a rundown VA hospital. But just as their luck starts to change, the ghosts of war re-emerge, leading Lewis and his buddies down a path of guilt, desperation and self-destruction. Written by Dave Riccardi

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Everyone deserves a new beginning.


Drama | War




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21 May 2013 (USA)  »

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Because neither of them had a military background, Manning and Cuomo interviewed over 80 veterans from various wars - Iraq/Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Vietnam and WWII - to ensure accuracy. Manning often gave certain interview subjects various drafts of the script for feedback. See more »

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User Reviews

Courageous film
15 March 2011 | by See all my reviews

The care of our returning wounded veterans has concerned me for some time. I became interested following my own first-hand observations of the appalling conditions and insufficient (and in many cases) inexperienced staff at some of our country's Veterans' Hospitals. I'd heard some buzz about Lorrell Manning and his film, Happy New Year, so when I knew I'd be in Austin during the festival I decided to see just how authentic a depiction of the treatment of returning veterans Manning's project would present. For me, Happy New Year's portrait of the physical and psychological struggles of a seriously wounded young staff sergeant returning from a tour in Iraq proved painfully accurate and incredibly moving. The bleak, coldness of the hospital served as an all too accurate backdrop for shiningly believable performances by Michael Cuomo and an outstanding group of supporting actors. Let's face it, recognizing and treating PTSD is difficult for the most esteemed and experienced psychiatric professionals. But as this film so successfully reveals, our returning wounded warriors are often left in the care of indifferent, emotionally disconnected medical personnel, who treat these patients like hostages rather than heroes. While Michael Cuomo's performance is clearly stellar in its believability, Wimer Calderone, Monique Curnen, David Fonteno, Jose Yenque, and Tina Sloane are equally convincing. Yes, the subject matter remains intense. The flashbacks to war ravaged fields strewn with burnt and dismembered bodies, the embrace between a heartbroken mother and her totally broken son are chilling and challenging….Challenging because they force the audience …make that defy the audience to realize that wounded or not, no soldier returns from this war whole, no soldier's family remains unaffected and above all, whether one approves of this war or not, these soldiers deserve the care, compassion and respect needed to begin to heal if healing is even a possibility. Though the film has some lighter moments that provide a bit of diversion from the gravity of its message, Happy New Year is a not a movie for those who fear and flee from harsh truths. It is a small movie with a big heart and even bigger message. My gratitude to Manning for having the courage to tell it.

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