The Painter and the Thief
The Half of It
The Vast of Night
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An upper class family in Calais struggles with crisis. Although this film is of an obvious high caliber production, the lack of a coherent plot left it much to be desired. Either I'm not that smart or this movie made no sense. Given that this was a French film and perhaps much was lost in translation, the story was difficult, at best, to comprehend. There was no real beginning and no real end. It is not wrapped up in a nice little bow and for most films, it doesn't really have to be. However there was such a lack of explanation pertaining to the characters actions there was nothing for the viewer to grasp as reasoning. The best thing about this film was its ability to make yourself feel good about your own family. As crazy as you may think your family is, this one is crazier and not funny haha crazy. but perhaps it was meant to be crazy. Critics love this film, the general public probably does not. CritPop score of a 2 of 5 stars.
Otra vez Heneke y sus estilachos.
The critics were unfairly harsh on this characteristically opaque examination of family secrets, betrayal and the mysteries of life. It's not an easy film to follow, at least initially, Haneke doesn't hold your hand or spell everything out, but that approach pays growing dividends as the onion is slowly unpeeled. Marvellous acting from his ensemble cast, led by Matthieu Kassovitz, Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Fantastique.
Director Michael Haneke's latest film, his first in five years, is a chilly look at the moral failings of the bourgeoisie (or perhaps the upper class). Isabelle Huppert is the neurotic head of a construction company, hoping to bestow this role on her son, who she constantly berates for not being good enough (an accident at one of the sites heightens this tension). Mathieu Kassovitz is her brother, a surgeon, whose 13-year-old daughter by a first marriage (Fantine Harduin) is suddenly added to the family when her mother attempts suicide; the daughter immediately senses that her father is having an affair (and investigates this on his computer; her smartphone is always near at hand, recording things). Jean-Louis Trintignant (now in his 80s) plays the retired head of the family, alternatively forgetful and lucidly perceptive; he seeks escape in death after having euthanised his wife several years earlier during a chronic illness (a nod to Haneke's previous feature, Amour, 2012). There is no linear plot to reveal; we just see the family with its various players rolling through a series of events that show their obliviousness to the suffering of the world (made a bit more overt when the son invites a group of African refugees into a fancy engagement dinner). We do feel the tension from these events but it is enhanced by the characters' inability to communicate with each other, to confess their own true feelings or to recognise those of each other. (Haneke uses some cinematic tricks, such as filming from a distance so that we cannot hear what is being said, to emphasise these failures). Our social pain may be even more acute when we observe the poor tween daughter and her own constricted emotions, clearly borne of the treatment received from those around her. As always with Haneke, there are ideas to chew on here but they seem slightly less well digested than in some of his other films.
am vazut doar prima jumate in aer liber.
Haneke has served us so many great films that his newst efforts are always something to give a peep. Here he is back after the magnificent "Amore" and also brought some of the same actors in Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert.
There are some interesting shots here, some of them done with cell phones. It takes quite some time to get a grip of the stoy as there are many people involve and we see parts from all of they're lives. When the needed connecting-bit comes throgh you feel the whole story and you feel you know everyone pretty well.
There's not much happiness here. Everyone seem self-destructive no matter if they are 13, 90 or 40 years of age. OK acting but for me Fantine Harduin as the 13 year old "Eve" is the most impressive acress here. Some cool scenes, like the great karaokee scene, but other scenes are not bring that much to the table. It's like a bunch of short clips, they all plays important parts but I never really dig them.
Part experimental, part boring, part solid. The result is fresh, but not fresh enough, hard hitting but never hard enough and I was left disappointed even if I liked the way the film made me feel like an observer like few other films do.
6 out of 10 cell phones.
Haneke does what he knows best, deconstructing the upper-middle class family, although the truth is, he's done that before with better results.
The more foreign films I watch, the more I worry that due to my being entrenched in American culture, I have a hard time relating to the dialogue and way of life of many characters within the films. I fear that this causes me to generalize and say that all the Austrian movies I've seen are similar, for example. Or the same about French films. Or any other country for that matter. I have come to realize that what I recognize is a director's style, perhaps moreso than when I watch an American produced film. Therefore this cultural gap has a real plus side: witnessing the film's director at their fullest, without any cultural bias.
The more I see of Michael Haneke (coincidentally the only Austrian director's films I have seen), the more I'm sure he's just an evil genius. Much like with Ruben Ostlund's The Square (another film I love though may not review), I left Happy End with little bias, but with a full force message in front of me. The Square has a jovial message, Happy End has one that makes its title sting.
Drenched in modern technology and set against an unmistakably non-american family backdrop, you find out just how much a story told in a different culture can amplify a message. No American movie could ever have (so maliciously) proven the point that Haneke sets out to prove. For the sake of letting you experience its overwhelming dread without spoilers, I will say nothing of the message other than that if you have never seen a Michael Haneke movie, don't let this be your first. If you have seen one, bask in the glory of Happy End. I will repeat, for any curious reader, Michael Haneke (director of dread fests such as Amour, Cache and Funny Games) is an evil genius. Evil. This movie's title is the only Happy thing about it, but again, the movie's message comes barreling in like a ton of bricks. It's impact? Not for the faint of heart. A film for film lovers and people willing to ponder over an uncompromising plot. Though Happy End did not destroy me the way Amour did in 2012, it's a welcome little feast of objective, unrelenting nihilism. AS ONLY HANEKE CAN DELIVER! Also of note, acting is top notch, and the use of technology is riveting, including shots of a vertical phone screen that only use up ~20% of the screen. Superb, and every Haneke fan should agree!
Nobody can make films about people who are slowly dying on the inside like Michael Haneke.
The film didn't completely impress me, but I still liked it.This is another good example of Haneke's distinctive filmmaking style and solid principles.Its mood and tone is tragic and bleak, in the way that only this master of world cinema is able to create.The ending was one of the most affecting and orginal final scenes I've ever seen.