Cannes starts two weeks from today, and the anticipation is getting hard to bear. Guessing potential Palme D’Or frontrunners is always a fool’s errand, especially with a jury as eclectic as the one Pedro Almodovar is heading up this year, but given that Michael Haneke won the top prize for both of his last two films, “The White Ribbon” and “Amour,” his latest has to be a strong contender.
The probably misleadingly-titled “Happy End” sees Haneke once again skewer bourgeois European society, this time looking at a French family in the north of the country against the backdrop of the migrant crisis, and the camps at Calais. The first-look image of the film has arrived thanks to twitter user @jasonosia, and among the cast we knew were involved — “Amour” stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Kassovitz, plus, as our eagle-eyed Jess spotted, “The Brand New Testament” actress Laura Verlinden — there’s a surprise, in the shape of increasingly omnipresent British character actor Toby Jones.
As it turns out, Jones’ involvement was actually revealed in passing when Sony Pictures Classics picked the film up, but few seemed to have noticed the name of the star of “Captain America,” “The Hunger Games” et al. Anyway, Jones is one of our best, and a perfect fit for Haneke’s sensibilities, and we’re fascinated to see what they do together. The movie will premiere at Cannes sometime after May 17th: stay tuned for our verdict.