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Happy End — ‘exquisitely acted’

Happy End — ‘exquisitely acted’

April 03
20:40 2018

Directed by Michael Haneke, 2017

Curzon Artificial Eye

Anyone feeling unenthused about spending Easter with their relatives should be grateful that they’re not a member of the Laurent clan.

The family at the heart of Michael Haneke’s mordant drama boasts an impressive litany of cross-generational dysfunctionalities. It is these shared flaws, not love, that unite them.

One superbly macabre scene sees Jean-Louis Trintignant’s infirm patriarch bonding with his troubled granddaughter (Fantine Harduin) over their failed suicide attempts.

Meanwhile professional triumphs are subsumed by personal humiliations; Mathieu Kassovitz’s surgeon is caught philandering; Isabelle Huppert’s CEO is routinely embarrassed by her wayward son. All these plot-strands come together to form an exquisitely acted — sometimes unwatchably uncomfortable — family portrait.

Featuring no mirth or closure, Happy End is vintage Haneke.


The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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