This, the most ironically titled of all Haneke films, is also one of his most intriguing; it is as cutting as Jean-Louis Trintignant's stare. On the one hand, we have an overview of iconic themes plied by the director of Golden Palm-winner Love or Funny Games, what with its intergenerational conflict, an awful bourgeois, dysfunctional family, and violence - the victims of which appear in the least expected moment, as well as old age, and the dictatorship of technology. On the other, it is a brutal indictment of Europe, delivered in a shocking though amusing manner. It's also an electrifying on-screen encounter among Haneke's stars; Isabelle Huppert plays the head of a wealthy family, while Jean-Louis Trintignant that of her father, who is planning to commit suicide. This bourgeois family from Calais (recall the town is emblematic of the refugee crisis) encounters a series of catastrophes within just a few days that leads them to a downfall. It is, the film implies, the same direction that the dysfunctional, uncompassionate and withering West is headed. In that case, what does the happy end imply here?
Michael Haneke is one of the most distinguished filmmakers in the world of contemporary cinema. He has won a number of European Film Academy awards and an Academy Award. He is also a two-time winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes for The White Ribbon and Amour. An Austrian born in Munich, he has also worked in television (since 1974) and theater, having staged works by Strindberg, Goethe, and von Kleist. Since his 1989 debut, Haneke has been making films in Austria, France, and the United States, and he has become a master of penetrating analysis and criticism of what goes on behind closed doors in our welfare societies.
1989 Siódmy kontynent / Der siebente Kontinent / The Seventh Continent
2000 Kod nieznany / Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages / Code Unknown
2001 Pianistka / La Pianiste / The Piano Teacher
2009 Biała wstążka / Das weiße Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte / White Ribbon
2012 Miłość / Amour