‘Happy New Year, Colin Burstead’ Review: Ben Wheatley’s Dysfunctional Family Drama Feels More Like a TV Pilot Than a Film [Festival du Nouveau Cinéma]
Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 by Sarah Foulkes
It’s the tried and true experiment: stick a dysfunctional family in a big house for a day and see what happens. When done well, it can be a like a cathartic claustrophobic symphony. But Ben Wheatley‘s Happy New Year, Colin Burstead doesn’t pack a punch.
This particular story of family dysfunction is set in the grand Cumberland House in Dorset, also referred to by its characters as a castle, Burstead Hall and “fucking Downton Abbey.” It’s not exactly a bottle episode, because we do see glimpses of Colin (Neil Maskell), his Mum Sandy (Doon Mackichan) and his sister’s Gini’s houses (Hayley Squires), but not enough to get a sense of how differently they all live. With such a large ensemble and diversity of personalities, Happy New Year fails to flesh them out.