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Added by johanlefourbe on 27 May 2015 02:47
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Almost a Complete Review of Michael Haneke's work

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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7
Happy End (2017)


Cast : Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Toby Jones

What was it about?
A drama about a family set in Calais with the European refugee crisis as the backdrop.

My two cents:

My rating: 0?/10

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People who added this item 788 Average listal rating (447 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Amour (2012)


Cast : Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert

What was it about?
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

My two cents:
Haneke won with this movie his 2nd Golden Palm in a row at the Cannes Film Festival and it won many other awards as well. And, indeed, it definitely deserved all the praises it has received and, personally, I enjoyed it more than ‘The White Ribbon’ which was pretty good but didn’t really amaze me. Anyway, it is pretty amazing to see the evolution of Haneke through his movies. I mean, he has always been fascinated by death and how mankind deals with it but his vision was always ice cold and pretty much emotionless. Here, he finally gives us the opportunity to dive in his vision of our world but, for once, he allowed us also to invest ourselves in the characters and the end-result was quite amazing.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 909 Average listal rating (481 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8


What was it about?
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

My two cents:
One of Haneke's trademarks is to put his characters in some very stressful situation/environment and whereas a conventional movie would explain what’s going on, why all this is happening, Haneke doesn’t follow this path and you have to make up on your own what is exactly going on. With this movie, the first issue I had is that there were just too many characters. Here, there was a multitude of characters so it was rather difficult to keep track on who was who and who did what. Furthermore, I was not completely convinced by how the whole thing was written. I mean, pretty early, they give you the feeling that there is something fishy about those kids but then, the plot (if you could call it a plot) moves away from them, but then it comes back to them, then move away again and, then, at the end, it seemed there would be some kind of closure but, as usual, with Haneke, it is denied to the viewer. Still, even though it didn’t really blow me away, I still enjoyed this movie though and even though I didn’t really connect with the whole thing, there was still definitely something mesmerizing about this village.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 1102 Average listal rating (668 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Funny Games (2007)


Cast : Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt

What was it about?
In this English-language remake of a deconstruction in the way violence is portrayed in the media, a family settles into its vacation home, which happens to be the next stop for a pair of young, articulate, white-gloved serial killers on an excursion through the neighborhood.

My two cents:
What was the point of remaking EXACTLY the same movie (it is said that the house even has the same dimensions) ? Who cares when it is directed by the great Haneke?!? Since I am a huge fan of the original version, of course, I was really eager to check it out. Eventually, I liked this remake a lot. Of course, I have to admit it, it was rather pointless to make the same movie again (I really wonder why Haneke thought it was a good idea) but it remains a great story and I loved it almost as much as the amazing original version. The tone was identical, visually, it was really similar (I still don't think it was really shot-by-shot the same though) and the acting was really strong.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 806 Average listal rating (482 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Hidden (2005)


Cast : Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Annie Girardot

What was it about?
A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

My two cents:
 I thought it was a great thriller but totally different from what you would get from a typical commercial thriller. There were no shootings, chases, explosions or anything and it is all about the characters and what they were going through and I thought it was quite fascinating to watch. I remember, I got this DVD from a colleague who didn't like it at all but that didn't surprise me. Indeed, Haneke is the specialist of the enigmatic thriller and even though he always create a fascinating and unsettling set-up, he never gives some simple explanations or answers, as a matter of fact, usually he doesn't explain anything at all which can be frustrating for the casual viewers who are used to the dumbed down commercial features produced by Hollywood. Personally, I love this approach, it creates a mesmerizing atmosphere and you have to make up on your own what is actually going on.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6


Cast : Isabelle Huppert, Béatrice Dalle, Patrice Chéreau, Rona Hartner, Olivier Gourmet

What was it about?
When Anna and her family arrive at their holiday home, they find it occupied by strangers. This confrontation is just the beginning of a painful learning process.

My two cents:
Unfortunately, it turned out to be his most disappointing feature I have seen so far, even more than ‘Code Inconnu’ which I seriously didn’t like at all. Basically, Haneke made this time a post-apocalyptic thriller and even though it may sound really appealing, it was in fact rather underwhelming. You know, I’m not a huge fan of the way your average Hollywood production dumb down every single element in the plot to make sure an infant couldn’t miss a thing but, with Haneke, it is the complete opposite as he doesn’t explain anything at any moment at all. Even though it is an interesting approach, eventually, I thought it was this time rather frustrating. Furthermore, the fact that none of the characters were really developed made for a seriously tedious movie. Still, it was far from being some garbage. I mean, the first 2 minutes were mind-blowing, just shattering, something only Haneke could do and there was something also quite fascinating about this messed up world.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 882 Average listal rating (459 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5


Cast : Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel

What was it about?
A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.

My two cents:
It is interesting that Haneke has made half of his movies in France and this feature was the second one he made there. Personally, even though I was expecting a lot from ‘Code inconnu’, I thought it was rather disappointing and too difficult to decipher for me. Eventually, this follow-up was maybe more straightforward but eventually much more enjoyable to watch. Ok, ‘enjoyable’ might not be the right word as, like in all the movies directed by Haneke, you deal with some dark and ambiguous characters, dealing with some twisted emotions. Isabelle Huppert, one of the best French actresses, delivered an impressive performance and with Benoît Magimel, they had some really nice chemistry together. Like most of Haneke's work, the whole thing had a strong mesmerizing effect but the mood was so dark, it was as a result also quite alienating. 

My rating: 07/10

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Cast : Juliette Binoche

What was it about?
Jean wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into a beggar's lap. Amadou, a young Franco-African, berates him. The police arrive, arrest Amadou and deport the beggar. Georges's girlfriend Anne is upset. Separate lives intersect for the one moment, around the pastry bag, and all are altered. We follow each as repercussions of the incident play out.

My two cents:
It is easily one of the least satisfying movies directed by Michael Haneke that I have seen so far. Indeed, a few years before, I had been completely blown away by his previous directing effort 'Funny Games' so I went to see this feature in the movie theater when it was released and I had some huge expectations. Well, the whole thing turned out to be rather disappointing. I mean, it was not bad but it was just seriously murky and it was almost impossible for me to connect with the characters or what they were going through. To be honest, it has been a while since I saw it so I should probably re-watch it at some point to make up my mind for good about the damned thing.

My rating: 06/10

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People who added this item 1328 Average listal rating (722 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Funny Games (1997)


Cast : Arno Frisch, Ulrich Mühe

What was it about?
Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

My two cents:
This movie had a huge impact on me and it is still, after all these years, one of my all-time favorites. I'm usually not really a fan of psychopath/serial killer movies. I mean, they are most of the time entertaining but they are never really great, at least, that’s my opinion but this movie is the exception. Indeed, I thought was so thoughtful , complex and really spellbinding to watch. I saw it again not so long ago and once again, it completely blew my mind. One thing I found really striking is that they stripped down most of the tricks used in most of your typical horror/thriller flicks. For example, there is no background music during the whole thing and, usually, in all Hollywood flicks, the music is literally shouting at you when something scary is going to happen. Not here, here you have to make up your own mind about what it is scary or not. There is actually not much actual violence but it must be one of the most violent movie on a psychological level I have ever seen.

My rating: 10/10

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What was it about?
71 scenes revolving around a recent immigrant, a couple that has just adopted a daughter, a college student and a lonely old man.

My two cents:
It was interesting to see how similar it was to 'Elephant', directed 10 years later by Gus van Sant. Indeed, the subject is similar and they both take the same approach to display the events without explaining them. The big difference was that Haneke has chosen to display the different characters who would be eventually involved in this tragedy. I must admit I was wondering where the whole thing was going but it became really clear at the end. It is also a rather depressing movie to watch as all the characters are so sad and no one of them seem to live a happy life. Maybe Haneke wanted to display that in our modern age, ruled by computers and televisions, it has become really difficult to connect with a one and another and, some of us who cannot cope anymore, chose to end it all in mayhem. Of course, it is a personal theory and I may miss the point completely.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 357 Average listal rating (178 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Benny's Video (1992)


Cast : Arno Frisch, Ulrich Mühe

What was it about?
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.

My two cents:
It has been a while since I have seen this flick and I should probably re-watch it. Anyway, even though it didn't completely blow me away like 'Funny Games', I thought the whole thing was still quite impressive. Indeed, it gives such a chilling vision of humanity, seriously, it is just pitch dark and utterly depressing. And yet, even though it was incredibly sad, I thought it was still quite mesmerizing to behold. Basically, I consider this flick as some king of warm-up for 'Funny Games' (the fact that Arno Frisch played basically the same psychotic character reinforced this feeling) but it is quite a warm-up for sure.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 371 Average listal rating (178 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.8


What was it about?
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.

My two cents:
What a depressing movie! Honestly, if you are somber or in a gloomy mood, you shouldn't watch this flick. I mean, I liked it but it hits you like a fist in the face. It was Michael Haneke's directing début and there were already many of his trademarks : the sober and ascetic directing, the unknow actors (at least, to me), the osbcure plot, the pessimistic view on humanity. As usual, he tries to make a strong statement but, as usual, you never can be sure what it is but that's what awesome is about Haneke's movies, you have to figure it out yourself. It is a rather slow movie and it took me a while to understand what was going on but the last 20 minutes were really hardcore. Since it is all very depressing and since there is actually no much going on during the whole thing, many viewers won't like it and it is an acquired taste. 

My rating: 07/10

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It has been a while since I made one of those lists but since I have seen all the movies directed by Michael Haneke, I thought he really deserved it. Enjoy!


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36 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' work (47 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 5 years, 4 months ago 7 comments



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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 6 months ago at Jun 3 12:53
Good work. I've had mixed reactions, my own favourite The White Ribbon, and Caché, Piano Teacher and Amour were fine.
Posted: 2 years, 6 months ago at Jun 3 14:01
Great list, keep making these 'Complete review' lists!
Perhaps Robert Rodriguez, Miyazaki and Shyamalan?
Posted: 2 years, 6 months ago at Jun 3 14:16
@brawljeff, I know I should make more but I'm just too lazy ;)

I think I will go for Robert Rodriguez as soon as I have seen those movies :
- Shorts
- Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D
- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Posted: 2 years, 6 months ago at Jun 3 19:56
Take your time, don't want to rush you, but I like reading these lists. A Dame To Kill For was pretty entertaining, didn't see the other two movies.

Don't understand how Rodriguez can make so many good movies, and so MANY bad ones..

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