Michael Haneke's "Happy End" channels top-tier Bunuel



Here's my Cannes dispatch:

"Michael Haneke’s "Happy End will be divisive, but it’s also the film that Haneke needed to make at this stage in his career, a sort of reinvention that tackles his obsessive, familiar themes, but feels purposely polarizing and creatively freeing for Haneke. in its lack of a narrative structure. Yes, "Happy End" even has comedic moments, a rarity for the venerable Austrian filmmaker whose reputation has been that of heavy, morosely-driven dramas. The film stars Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Matthieu Kassovitz and revolves around a dysfunctional family falling apart. Each has their own problems and, yet, they represent what is wrong with the bourgeoisie these days: all pent-up, airless frustration at the most unimportant topics. In fact, this is Haneke’s most meta movie, a self-referential farce about all the themes that he’s tackled so far in his illustrious career. The film is reminiscent of a Luis Bunuel’s provoking cinema of the 1970’s. The film might as well be called "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie."
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