Perhaps at the end of the day nothing pleases me more in art than command of form. I genuinely think that for the most part HAPPY END is absolutely the most exquisite and unified formal vision Haneke has given us since CODE INCONNU. The problem here, and it may well be a minor one, is that this measured film about disquiet in the realm of surfaces, engineered for estrangement, becomes in the end a too-easy joke.
It's hard to fault the filmmaking here, but harder still to put a finger on why this is a film. Haneke can't help but construct compelling compositions, but for all the gripping unease none of the set-ups resolve. in a way this could be the point. Sequences start with a climax, then explain the context. Hanake is ending on a film about what has happened, not what will. The drama in being past a point.
A very clever expansion on the universe created with Amour. Haneke continues to disarm us with essential information the moment we look away. The performances are superb and utterly convincing in this tale of wealth, obligation and self interest. Top marks to Trintignant for the best karaoke scene this year! 4 stars
Haneke depicts the farcical implosion of an upper middle class French family whose complete lack of empathy reflects the sheer hypocrisy of Neoliberal European Union in the age of social media and massive migration. The question is: Do we care? Is there anything new? Does Happy End break new fingers, pardon, grounds?