When lauded Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke uses the word “happy” — especially when he uses it in the title of a film — it’s okay to not take it at face value. After all, this is the director behind such films as “The White Ribbon,” “Amour,” and “Funny Games.” He’s not really into “happy.” So buckle up for “Happy End”!
Haneke’s latest star-packed film — featuring new and returning talents like Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin, Franz Rogowski, and Laura Verlinden — is bound for Cannes, where it will likely only continue to elevate his stature at a festival that has long adored his work.
While we don’t know much about the film itself, Huppert (who previously starred in his “The Piano Teacher” and “Time of the Wolf”) did give THR a taste of the timeliness at the heart of the film. She recently told the outlet, “The film is a portrait of a very wealthy family running this big company in Calais, not far from the camp where the migrants are. And it says a lot about how in our lives, in our privileged world, we are too often deaf and blind to the harsh reality of the world — about the privileged world.”
Early looks at the film have leaned into the familial aspect of the film, showing off looks at the apparently well-off family at a seaside event that appears to be taking a turn into the awkward. An early clip from the film — for now, only available in French — plays up that theme, because despite some rarefied surroundings, none of these people look very happy to be there.
The film will premiere at Cannes on May 22. No U.S. release date has been announced yet, but Sony Pictures Classic has acquired North American rights.
Check out the first clip from “Happy End” below, thanks to The Film Stage.