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Happy End

Michael Haneke

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Michael Haneke returns to our screens with Happy End, a blistering look at a bourgeois family in crisis. Haneke’s first endeavour since his Palme d’Or and Oscar-winning film Amour, Happy End covers familiar themes, exposed by Haneke’s trademark revealing eye.

"A blistering look at a bourgeois family in crisis..."

The film opens with 13-year-old Eve experimenting on her pet guinea pig with her mum’s antidepressants. So far, so Haneke. After her mother suffers an overdose herself, Eve goes to live with her father Thomas (Mathieu Kassovitz) and his family. The household is presided over by grandfather Georges (Jean-Louis Trintingnant) a construction magnate whose company is now run by daughter Anne (Isabelle Huppert). Anne, engaged to a London financier (Toby Jones), struggles to manage the business whilst also looking after wayward son Pierre (Victoria’s Franz Rogowski) and her father, whose dementia is worsening. When a tragedy strikes on one of their building sites, the already fragile family begins to unravel.

Although more comedic than his earlier work, Happy End is still a devastating look at a damaged family and society. Is it a metaphor for Europe’s inability to cope with the refugee crisis, or of the breakdown in communication between the generations, or a portrait of the consequences of poor parenting? Haneke, a filmmaker undeniably in control of his material, never underestimates his audience, and challenges you to decide for yourself.

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