TIFF 2017: ‘Happy End’ Review

Fantine Harduin as Eve Laurent, Jean-Louis Trintignant as Georges Laurent, Isabelle Huppert as Anne Laurent, Laura Verlinden as Anaïs Laurent, Toby Jones as Lawrence Bradshaw and Mathieu Kassovitz as Thomas Laurent in HAPPY END

Mongrel Media | Sony Pictures Classics

Michael Haneke’s (The White RibbonAmour) latest film is misnomer. There is nothing happy about this movie – and I loved it. The ironically named film is a dark, satirical drama about a seemingly perfect family on the surface, but is actually quite dysfunctional behind closed doors.

Seeing Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant reunited as a father-daughter duo, Happy End is a film that demands your full attention even though it Haneke is intentionally ignoring his audience. He films scenes that beg you to ask questions, but never gives you the answers that you so desperately crave.

Most disturbing and unexpected is how Haneke uses social media as a primary way to tell a story and to help the family’s secrets unfold. Happy End is a great case study in how modernization and technology can have a nefarious impact on our lives, making it easier to hide our true intentions. The final scene of the film may be the most embarrassingly accurate representation of how people are using social media – and it’s absolutely chilling.

Rating: 8/10

Public Screenings: Sept 10 5:45 pm, Sept 11 9:15 am

Find all of our TIFF 2017 reviews and coverage here.

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