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Happy End (2017)

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A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.

Director:

Michael Haneke

Writer:

Michael Haneke
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4,582 ( 577)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Anne Laurent
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Georges Laurent
Mathieu Kassovitz ... Thomas Laurent
Fantine Harduin ... Eve Laurent
Franz Rogowski ... Pierre Laurent
Laura Verlinden ... Anaïs
Aurélia Petit Aurélia Petit ... Nathalie
Toby Jones ... Lawrence Bradshaw
Hille Perl Hille Perl ... La gambiste
Hassam Ghancy ... Rachid
Nabiha Akkari ... Jamila
Joud Geistlich Joud Geistlich ... Selin
Philippe du Janerand ... Maître Barin
Dominique Besnehard Dominique Besnehard ... Marcel, le coiffeur
Bruno Tuchszer Bruno Tuchszer ... Inspecteur chantier 1
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Storyline

Gradually succumbing to dementia, George Laurent, the octogenarian patriarch of the Laurents, an affluent upper-bourgeois family, is uncomfortably sharing his palatial manor in Calais, the heart of the infamous migrant jungle, with his twice-married son, Thomas, and Anne, his workaholic daughter who has taken over the family construction business. Divorced and frigid, Anne has to handle the impact of a disastrous workplace accident caused by her disappointing son Pierre's negligence, while at the same time, the urgent hospitalisation of Thomas' ex-wife from a mysterious poisoning, leads his sulky 13-year-old daughter, Ève, to live with her father and his new wife, Anais. Undoubtedly, in this family, everyone has a skeleton in the closet, and as the fates of the Laurents enmesh with insistent and ignoble desires, a peculiar and disturbing alliance will form. But in the end, some secrets are bigger than others. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't believe the title of this Michael Haneke film.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual material and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Austria | Germany

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

22 December 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Final fericit See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$301,718, 22 March 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Austria's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

When Mathieu Kassovitz's character drives his daughter home and she begins to cry, he appears to pass the same building (with a red and silver car parked in front of it) two times. See more »

Connections

References Beau travail (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Toi et moi
Performed by Guillaume Grand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Long takes alone a profound film do not make
19 March 2018 | by mariobadulaSee all my reviews

Like others, the main reason I went to see this film was Michael Haneke. Although I always thought that he lacks humor and takes himself too seriously, he did make some outstanding and memorable films. Unfortunately, this one feels stale, redundant, and out of step with the times. The subject matter, the bourgeoisie entrapped in their self-serving bubble as a theme, has been shown so many times, and in much more poignant ways, including by Haneke himself. This film doesn't add anything new or noteworthy, neither with the story, nor with the style.

The way social media and phone messages are shown also feels embarrassingly dated, like a grandfather explaining this "new" phenomenon. "Cache" was made over a decade ago, and technology and the discourses of its impacts have moved on with furious speed; apparently, Haneke has not. Even the metaphor of using Calais and the migrant 'jungle' as point here misses its mark. It tries to be smart about it, but, once again, it just feels old in its approach.

Interestingly enough, another western European film, the Swedish "The Square," dealt with some similar themes and issues in the same year, but was more successful with its narrative framework and style. "Happy End" just felt boring, not necessarily because of the long takes alone, but because of its uninspired re-threading of familiar ground. Because of that, those long takes eventually really did become boring. Perhaps Haneke will resurface with some interesting new work, or perhaps it is really time for him to retire. In any case, I hope the comparisons to Bunuel will cease. Bunuel was a pioneer with his films; this is a film by an old man, who doesn't seem to have much new to say any more.


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