Transmission Films has dropped an English-subtitled trailer for Happy End, the latest film from Oscar nominated German auteur Michael Haneke (Hidden, The White Ribbon, Amour).
Featuring a cast that includes previous Haneke collaborators Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher, Time of the Wolf) and Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour), as well as Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin, Franz Rogowski, Laura Verlinden, and Toby Jones, Happy End follows the dysfunctional lives of a bourgeois European family.
As the Toronto International Film Festival describes in its synopsis of the film:
Anne (Huppert) has taken over the family business from her ailing father, Georges (Trintignant). The cast broadens to include Anne’s fiancé (Toby Jones), her deadbeat son (Franz Rogowski), her brother (Matthieu Kassovitz), who has just been saddled with his 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage (Fantine Harduin), and a pair of Moroccan servants (Nabiha Akkari, Hassam Ghancy).
The dark side of domestic dynamics continues to haunt Haneke’s work in Happy End. As Anne, prim and proper, tries to keep everything together, she finds she has a worthy foe in the form of her young niece. As things start to spin into chaos, Haneke guides us through another masterpiece of familial dysfunction.
From The Seventh Continent, to Benny’s Video, to Funny Games, Haneke has a reputation for delivering challenging, often troubling, meticulously crafted pieces of cinema. At his peak, Haneke’s works leave long-lasting impressions that will have you replaying scenes over and over again in your mind, wondering whether there were hidden meanings that you didn’t quite catch. Even his lesser works, of which there aren’t many, at least provide some food for thought.
Time will tell just how Happy End compares to his strongest films, but so far, so good. The film’s been receiving solid reviews since its festival run kicked off at Cannes, where Haneke was nominated for the Palme d’Or.
Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing Happy End in the U.S. on December 22. Transmission Films will be distributing the film in Australia; expect a domestic release date soon.