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With Jim Sabatini


Happy End

Happy End
Starring:
Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz and Toby Jones


Rated: R for some sexual material and language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: December 22, 2017 Released by: Sony Pictures

Austrian director Michael Haneke puts his distinctive gelid detached imprint on his newest grimly raw endeavor suffused with a certain bitter wit hardly not to everyone's liking.

The ironic Happy End (in French with English subtitles) has a clinical, often fixed aloofness with espial close observation set in the coastal enclave of Calais.

At the outset there is a twisted drollery using a Snapchat livestream and later a laptop with erotic email on a portal/chatroom as the dysfunctional Laurent family is the subject of Haneke's saturnine, if realistic outlook.

Young unobtrusive teen Eve, a find in Fantine Harduin, must stay with dad Thomas (Matthew Kassovitz) with his new wife and their young child after her mother overdoses.

Also in their residence is Thomas's sister, ascetic property developer Anne (Isabelle Huppert), and their disconsolate mid-80s father Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is deemed "too healthy" for what he desires.

The act of eavesdropping from a stationary sightline is typical of the director and it still works well in a pugilistic scene, for example. And the clan is portrayed as a pastiche of provincial personal gain. Even BBC clips indicate how oblivious they are when it comes to a nearby émigré emergency.

What could be seen as a follow-up to Haneke's deeply accomplished Amour (which include Huppert and Trintignant) may lack the dramatic flow and stellar precision of his best features which also include Cache"and White Ribbon. Unnerving and oozing with zany vitriol as in a dislocated finger or a modern groove while Sia's 'Chandelier' plays Happy End finally has an alternative haunting allure viewed from an iPhone.

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Happy End        B                        B 

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