© X Verleih/Warner Bros.

Happy End
France/Austria/Germany 2017

Opening 12 Oct 2017

Directed by: Michael Haneke
Writing credits: Michael Haneke
Principal actors: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin, Franz Rogowski

Happy End is anything but that. Eve Laurent (Huppert) is the matriarch of a rich family in Calais due to the fact that her father is confined to a wheelchair and suffers from dementia.  The family lives together in spite of not seeming to like each other very much at all. The father tries to get accomplices so he can kill himself.  One of the two sons (Kassovitz) is cheating on his second wife at the same time that his 12-year-old daughter from his first marriage comes to live with the clan because she has accidentally-on-purpose poisoned her mother. Eve herself is having an affair with her crooked British business associate (Jones).  Seeing these two together is almost like watching The Beauty and the Beast.

There were some references to the refugee crisis in Calais but that wasn't the plot. In fact, I had no success at finding any plot at all and could only wonder why Isabelle Huppert (the so-called Meryl Streep of France) would accept such a role. (Thelma Freedman)

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