“Happy End,” A Chilling Family Farce

After twice receiving the Palme d’or, for The White Ribbon in 2009 and Amour in 2012, Michael Haneke’s latest movie paints a cruel picture of a bourgeois family living in Northern France. The film also marks the director’s second film with on-screen duo Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

"All around us, the world, and we in its midst, blind." This biting catch-line is a succinct summary of the theme in Michael Haneke’s latest movie. For his 14th film, the Austrian director decided to invade the intimacy of a family from the French bourgeoisie.

The Laurents are rich industrialists living in Calais, Northern France, completely cut off from the world around them. This world is home to the workers on their payroll, and the migrants and refugees wandering around the port city that is today the focus of Europe’s distressed, silenced immigrant masses. Filled with good intentions but ruled by their own selfishness, the Laurents live in the bubble of their enormous mansion — a quiet setting paralyzed by lies and


Subscribers Only

To be able to access this article,
log in or subscribe to France-Amérique.