Details have been kept pretty tight on the plot behind Michael Haneke‘s “Happy End,” which is gearing up for its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. However, the first clip and poster provide some clues about the kind of the film he’ll be delivering.
Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Kassovitz and Toby Jones, all we’ve known so far is that the story centers on a bourgeois European family, with reports that narrative elements would involve the refugee crisis on the continent. Last August, Huppert tried to explain what audiences could expect. “It’s a very quick view of a family. There’s no psychology. It’s very factual. Just the facts. It sounds like ‘Code Unknown,’ but it’s different to that. It’s certainly more like ‘Code Unknown’ than ‘The Piano Teacher,’ where you follow a single character. The aim is that everyone who sees it will be able to create their own film,” she said.
The first clip you’ll only be able to understand if you know French, but the poster is intriguing, as it’s framed like a video taken by a smartphone. You might recall that at one time, Haneke had been developing “Flashmob” — about a group of characters who connect through the Internet and are brought together by the titular event at the end — only to wind up scrapping it. Maybe he’s worked elements of that script into this film? We’ll find out soon enough, but for now, here’s the cryptic logline for “Happy End”:
“All around us, the world, and we, in its midst, blind.” The film is a snapshot from the life of a bourgeois European family.
Stay tuned for our verdict from Cannes. Sony Pictures Classics has already scooped the U.S. rights for the film, and will likely release it later this year.