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France · 2021
1h 40m
Director Audrey Diwan
Starring Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet Klein, Luàna Bajrami, Louise Orry-Diquéro
Genre Drama

An adaptation of Annie Ernaux's eponymous novel, Happening focuses on Anne, a bright college student who wants to finish her studies to escape her working-class background. One day, her life is changed by an unexpected pregnancy. Living in 1960s France where abortion was still illegal, Anne must take matters into her own hands.

Stream Happening

What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

Happening is often a tough watch, compassionate but brutally honest, and almost breathless in its chronicle of a struggle that has obviously stayed with the author for decades.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Happening is filmed and performed in such a delicate, skin-soft register, meanwhile, that the escalating terror of Anne’s situation is all the more pronounced, eventually pivoting into a realm of wholly realism-based body horror.


Screen Daily by Lee Marshall

There’s a slight lack of dramatic tension in much of the lead-up to its harrowing finale, with too much weight placed on the capable shoulders of the French-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei.


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel, the film plays its private trauma as a harrowing thriller, and showcases a superb performance from Anamaria Vartolomei as Anne Duchesne, the agonised student in the spotlight.

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