Billy Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening Stage A Mildly ‘Nice Day’: Off Broadway Review

Nearly 10 years ago, Billy Crystal and writer Quinton Peeples started work on a screenplay they’d eventually call Have A Nice Day. Not terribly long in Hollywood development years, but eons removed from our current political climate.
Performed an…

Nearly 10 years ago, Billy Crystal and writer Quinton Peeples started work on a screenplay they’d eventually call Have A Nice Day. Not terribly long in Hollywood development years, but eons removed from our current political climate. Performed and recorded (by Amazon’s Audible) as a staged Off Broadway reading last night and tonight by a starry ensemble – Crystal, Kevin Kline, Annette Bening and Dick Cavett, among others – Have a Nice Day, with its progressive, honest and…

Keegan-Michael Key, Darrell Hammond, Dick Cavett Join Billy Crystal’s Two-Night ‘Have A Nice Day’ Reading Off Broadway

Audible’s two-night live reading of Billy Crystal’s new play Have a Nice Day has rounded out its Off Broadway cast, with Keegan-Michael Key, Darrell Hammond and Dick Cavett among those set to take the Minetta Lane Theatre stage with Crystal…

Audible’s two-night live reading of Billy Crystal’s new play Have a Nice Day has rounded out its Off Broadway cast, with Keegan-Michael Key, Darrell Hammond and Dick Cavett among those set to take the Minetta Lane Theatre stage with Crystal, Annette Bening and Kevin Kline next month. The Have a Nice Day reading, set for October 7-8, will be recorded live, with the audio made available on Amazon’s Audible service shortly thereafter. The new play is part of Audible’s…

‘The Shape of Water’ Gets Oscar Boost as ‘Hostiles’ Lures Crowds

Oscar favorite “The Shape of Water,” even without a Best Picture win, looks headed for at least a $55 million total, likely more; “Have a Nice Day” opens well.

Following last week’s Oscar nominations, Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” led the field of Oscar contenders. Both films showed healthy jumps over last weekend, with Guillermo del Toro’s showing the most strength.

While both films were outgrossed by 20th Century Fox’s “The Post” in much wider release, they did add around $21 million to their impressive totals so far. That’s far above boosts for last year’s “Hidden Figures” and “La La Land.”

This weekend will be the high water mark for the nominees, with the next weeks seeing normal drops and in some cases possible alternative home viewing (several titles are nearing the three-month mark when streaming becomes a choice). It remains to be seen what will replace them in theaters after what has been a strong awards season boosting grosses above average for the last few months.

Among the openers, the sole new release to show any strength was Strand’s Chinese adul animated feature “Have a Nice Day.” Its $11,000 initial Manhattan exclusive gross is the top limited release opener so far this year.

“Padmaavat” (Viva), a Bollywood historical epic which has caused controversy in its Indian release this week, managed to place in the overall Top Ten with a $4.3 million gross in only 324 theaters. In a limited run it managed to gross better than all but two of the lead category nominees playing this weekend.

“Tosca,” a Live at the Met single showing presentation in over 900 theaters, grossed $2 million. That’s a healthy boost and an example of how theaters are supplementing normal business with targeted audiences.

In a sign of the times, the first Sundance 2018 title has already debuted on Netflix though with little notice: Netflix’s National Lampoon early days biopic “A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ started showing on Friday while festival was still in progress.

Opening

Have a Nice Day (Strand) Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Berlin, Seattle 2017

$(est.) 11,000 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $(est.) 11,000

Not high on the radar in festival attention and not a factor in any awards race, this Chinese animated title was boosted by strong reviews which led to a good initial exclusive New York result. This crime drama (hardly typical of either animated content nor what Chinese censors  usually allow) centers on a man who steals money from his boss to pay for his fiancee’s surgery in a remote city.

What comes next: Los Angeles opens Friday, with other cities (likely boosted by the initial performance) to follow.

International releases:

Padmaavat (Viva/India): $4,273,000 in 324 theaters

Also available on Video on Demand:

Please Stand By (Magnolia/Austin 2017): $(est.) 4,000 in 5 theaters

“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”

Week Two

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Fathom)

$137,087 in 77 theaters (-84); PTA: $1,780; Cumulative: $1,786,000

Most of the gross for this Japanese animated release, which was overlooked for the Oscar, came for its Fathom special event one day showings two Thursdays ago. But those theaters who have continued playing added more to its already decent total.

A Ciambra (IFC)

$7,531 in 2 theaters (+1); PTA: $3,766; Cumulative: $17,405

This Italian foreign-language Oscar submission added Los Angeles. The drama centering on a young Roma teen headed for early adulthood continues to do minor business.

Christian Bale in Hostiles

Hostiles

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Hostiles (Entertainment Studios) Week 6

$10,200,000 in 2,816 theaters (+2,697); Cumulative: $12,053,000

Though the strategy of a Christmas platform release and only minor added runs until the nominations didn’t pay off with a hoped for nod for Christian Bale, the early play and word of mouth did boost this western. Despite just slightly favorable reviews, Entertainment Studios’ marketing has propelled this into a decent national break, with a top three placement overall for the weekend despite major competition for older viewers. Its B Cinemascore doesn’t guarantee a big multiple ahead, but this Toronto acquisition looks like it could head to a respectable $30 million total. That’s much better than appeared possible with its mediocre initial results.

The Post (20th Century Fox) Week 6

$8,850,000 in 2,640 theaters (-211);  Cumulative: $58,536,000

The 24 per cent drop likely is better than what normally would have occurred for the third wide weekend for Steven Spielberg’s film. Its two nominations were in top categories (Pictures and Actress) should guarantee an ultimate gross above the director’s last Oscar contender. “The Bridge of Spies” in 2015 grossed $72 million in a release in the fall before it got any boost from its award contention.

“The Shape of Water”

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 9

$5,700,000 in 1,854 theaters (+1,001);  Cumulative: $37,679,000

The leading nominee jumped 161 per cent. The $5 million+ gross is better than any Best Picture winner has done after the nominations since “The King’s Speech” seven years ago (that smash had six weekend over that number), and a better weekend than any of them in its entire run since the fourth (in October) for “12 Years a Slave.” The film, even without a win in the category, looks headed for at least a $55 million total, likely more.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 12

$3,600,000 in 1,457 theaters (+503); Cumulative: $37,011,000

A strong 88 per cent increase (helped by additional theaters) for this multiple nominee that looks like it will be Searchlight’s second $50 million+ grosser for the season.

I, Tonya (Neon) Week 8

$2,969,000 in 960 theaters (+18);  Cumulative: $18,844,000

The second wide week for this retelling of the Tonya Hardy story fell 30 per cent after its multiple nominations. It still looks headed for somewhere around $30 million, which would put it ahead of films nominated in acting categories but not Best Picture.

“Phantom Thread”

Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

Phantom Thread (Focus) Week 5

$2,890,000 in 1,021 theaters (+125);  Cumulative: $10,622,000

Paul Thomas Anderson’s film came out well in nominations, but still fell 11 per cent from last weekend. It still should end up grossing better than either of his two films since “There Will Be Blood,” with its international response (the roll out starts this week) to determine whether it has a shot at profit. (Its budget was $35 million).

Darkest Hour (Focus) Week 10

$2,885,000 in 1,333 theaters (-10);  Cumulative: $45,197,000

With six nominations, this 1940 Winston Churchill wartime drama saw its grosses increase slightly despite its already lengthy run. This remains the leader among specialized company Best Picture nominees and now has taken over from “The Big Sick” among all specialized grossing 2017 titles (“The Space of Water” will likely overtake it).

Lady Bird (A24) Week 13

$1,925,000 in 1,177 theaters (+502);  Cumulative: $41,648,000

Greta Gerwig’s comedy added Oscar acclaim to its accolades and rebounded once again to add to its already impressive total. It looks headed to $50 million depending on home viewing availability (the film is completing its third month in release).

Timothée Chalamet stars as Elio in <em>Call Me By Your Name</em>

“Call Me by Your Name”

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10

$1,345,000 in 815 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $11,356,000

Though it received some top category nods (including Picture and Actor), this dropped 58 per cent from last weekend, which was its first wider break. This is not getting the response that other contenders have received from more mainstream audiences despite great acclaim. It still has a shot to hit somewhere close to $20 million if SPC can maintain screens for the next several weeks.

Molly’s Game (STX) Week 5

$900,000 in 556 theaters (-535); Cumulative: $25,900,000

After a decent run, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, without either a Best Picture or Actress nomination, will soon finish its play.

The Disaster Artist (A24) Week 9

$104,108 in 84 theaters (-63); Cumulative: $20,916,000

Only a screenplay nomination for James Franco’s film means its successful run is coming to an end.

The Insult (Cohen) Week 3

$60,000 in 10 theaters (+7);  Cumulative: $143,712

Capitalizing on its Foreign Language Film nod, Cohen added more cities for this Lebanese court drama with a better than average result for a subtitle expansion.

The Florida Project (A24) Week 17

$55,289 in 33 theaters (-4);  Cumulative: $5,656,000

A supporting actor nomination for Willem Dafoe was the sole mention for Sean Baker’s much acclaimed film, now at about the end of its four-month run.

Also noted:

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Sony Pictures Classics) – $35,918 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $247,751

Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics) – $21,792 in 14 theaters; $198,481

Faces Places (Cohen) – $14,068 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $722,829

Jane (Abramorama) – $12,221 in 9 theaters; Cumulative: $1,644,000

‘Have a Nice Day’ Film Review: Chinese Animated Noir Is a Wry, Cool Money Chase

Nobody proffers a smiley face in Liu Jian’s animated neo-noir “Have a Nice Day”: they’re too busy worrying, scheming, or being assaulted. The pull of money can do that.

A deadpan crime story with eccentric and fantastical touches, and a healthy sense of the absurd, “Have a Nice Day” makes a bold argument for Chinese animation as a fertile outlet for exploring the country’s more desperate, constricted lives, and the choices these people make.

The set-up is like something the great caper farceur Donald E. Westlake would have conjured for a disparate constellation of characters: a bag of money that changes hands and brings out some keen and not-so-keen survival instincts in its various pursuers and guardians. But the tone is very much Liu’s own, a mix of realism and punky attitude, with a punishing greyness to the animation that gives the whole shebang the feeling of a cosmic joke.

Also Read: Why ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ May Flop in China Despite $1 Billion Global Box Office

Liu even opens with a bleakly insightful quote from Tolstoy’s “Resurrection” that describes a man-ravaged world where, nevertheless, “spring was spring.” Over an ominously shuffling piano-drum theme, Jian deals out a selection of milieus depicting a small southern Chinese town of tatty storefronts, forgotten streets, and general urban blight mixed with busy development. There’s a halting flatness to the animation, but the detail work is painterly in its attention to chipped walls, beat-up roads, and trashed passageways.

The frames are also hauntingly still; the only movement might be a flickering light or a trail of smoke from a cigarette or factory. The art-trained Liu, who is both a painter and a photographer, and who made his first hand-drawn feature “Piercing” entirely by himself, seems to have found a way to evoke both aesthetics in his images.

The first character we meet is construction site worker Xiao Zhang (voiced by Zhu Changlong) as he waits to drive a man with a travel tote full of bills. But en route with the precious cargo, Xiao pulls a knife and takes the money, leaving the bag man behind and a waiting gangster named Uncle Liu (Yang Siming) mighty unhappy. Uncle Liu doesn’t seem like the to-be-trifled-with sort either, since our first taste of him is overseeing the violent beating of a childhood pal-turned-artist, the whole time reminiscing about the pair’s youthful exploits.

Also Read: ‘Mulan’ Fans Thank Disney for Not Whitewashing Live-Action Movie by Casting of Chinese Star

While the gangster deploys a butcher-assassin named Skinny (Ma Xiaofeng) to find his stolen million yuan, Xiao checks into a railway hotel, then at a deserted Internet café contacts his girlfriend to let her know they now have the money to get her reconstructive plastic surgery in South Korea. Waiting to intercept him, however, is Yellow Eye (Cao Kou), who noticed the young man with the abundant cash earlier at a noodle shop, and decided this was divine intervention in the form of readily available startup money for his aspirations as an inventor.

But as the confrontations, thieving, re-thieving, mishaps and fortuitous accidents continue, Liu Jian makes it painfully clear that, for as many intersecting characters he can create in his coolly conceived thriller, the real protagonist is maybe an intangible mindset of economic despair in modern China: the dream for something better stunted by the cold reality of arbitrary luck and stumbling opportunity. (The bag of money, then, is hardly a MacGuffin, but maybe a kind of elusive, inanimate antagonist.)

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Author Says a Movie Producer ‘Wanted to Change the Heroine Into a White Girl’

In that respect, Liu’s grimly quirky chase-for-gold movie is of a piece with other financial-hardship crime films making their mark in China, from Lin Yang’s “Blind Shaft” to Jia Zhengke’s “A Touch of Sin” and Johnny Ma’s “Old Stone.” The construct may generate suspense, but the filmmaker’s careful remove almost demands a thoughtfulness about the world being lived in.

Some of the details in Liu’s dryly played narrative bear out the theme of the twin allures of materialism and commercialism: Westernized cultural touches like a Hollister T-shirt, new sneakers, a “Fast and Furious” poster, references to Steve Jobs and “The Godfather.”

There’s even a trippy reverie one character has in an elevator in which her dream to use the money to go to a resort called Shangri-La with her long-haired boyfriend is rendered as a candy-colored Karaoke video interlude in the style of Chinese Communist art. Another character, meanwhile, sees freedom as levels of shopping: farmers’ market versus supermarket versus online. And for that politically relevant touch, there’s a moment when Trump’s voice is heard on a radio.

The vectors of hope, fear and desperation ultimately must clash, though, and in a movie where left-for-dead doesn’t mean out of the picture, that means a conclusion not quite conclusive, but true to form for a pulpy yarn that takes place under portentous skies. It doesn’t give anything away to say there’s a dark sense of humor in giving the last word to a shot of a bag of money partly open, its bounty of pinkish, Mao-emblazoned 100-yuan notes being rained on.

“Have a Nice Day” may not be so nice, but it signifies a step forward for Chinese animation in filmmaker Liu Jian.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Cat in the Hat’ Animated Movie to Kick Off Dr Seuss Franchise at Warner Bros

‘White Fang’ Film Review: Jack London Classic Gets Sturdy, Simplistic Animated Retelling

Donald Trump Is an Animated Idiot in Stephen Colbert’s ‘Our Cartoon President’ Trailer (Video)

‘Animaniacs’: Hulu, Warner Bros. Partner on ’90s Cartoon Reboot

Nobody proffers a smiley face in Liu Jian’s animated neo-noir “Have a Nice Day”: they’re too busy worrying, scheming, or being assaulted. The pull of money can do that.

A deadpan crime story with eccentric and fantastical touches, and a healthy sense of the absurd, “Have a Nice Day” makes a bold argument for Chinese animation as a fertile outlet for exploring the country’s more desperate, constricted lives, and the choices these people make.

The set-up is like something the great caper farceur Donald E. Westlake would have conjured for a disparate constellation of characters: a bag of money that changes hands and brings out some keen and not-so-keen survival instincts in its various pursuers and guardians. But the tone is very much Liu’s own, a mix of realism and punky attitude, with a punishing greyness to the animation that gives the whole shebang the feeling of a cosmic joke.

Liu even opens with a bleakly insightful quote from Tolstoy’s “Resurrection” that describes a man-ravaged world where, nevertheless, “spring was spring.” Over an ominously shuffling piano-drum theme, Jian deals out a selection of milieus depicting a small southern Chinese town of tatty storefronts, forgotten streets, and general urban blight mixed with busy development. There’s a halting flatness to the animation, but the detail work is painterly in its attention to chipped walls, beat-up roads, and trashed passageways.

The frames are also hauntingly still; the only movement might be a flickering light or a trail of smoke from a cigarette or factory. The art-trained Liu, who is both a painter and a photographer, and who made his first hand-drawn feature “Piercing” entirely by himself, seems to have found a way to evoke both aesthetics in his images.

The first character we meet is construction site worker Xiao Zhang (voiced by Zhu Changlong) as he waits to drive a man with a travel tote full of bills. But en route with the precious cargo, Xiao pulls a knife and takes the money, leaving the bag man behind and a waiting gangster named Uncle Liu (Yang Siming) mighty unhappy. Uncle Liu doesn’t seem like the to-be-trifled-with sort either, since our first taste of him is overseeing the violent beating of a childhood pal-turned-artist, the whole time reminiscing about the pair’s youthful exploits.

While the gangster deploys a butcher-assassin named Skinny (Ma Xiaofeng) to find his stolen million yuan, Xiao checks into a railway hotel, then at a deserted Internet café contacts his girlfriend to let her know they now have the money to get her reconstructive plastic surgery in South Korea. Waiting to intercept him, however, is Yellow Eye (Cao Kou), who noticed the young man with the abundant cash earlier at a noodle shop, and decided this was divine intervention in the form of readily available startup money for his aspirations as an inventor.

But as the confrontations, thieving, re-thieving, mishaps and fortuitous accidents continue, Liu Jian makes it painfully clear that, for as many intersecting characters he can create in his coolly conceived thriller, the real protagonist is maybe an intangible mindset of economic despair in modern China: the dream for something better stunted by the cold reality of arbitrary luck and stumbling opportunity. (The bag of money, then, is hardly a MacGuffin, but maybe a kind of elusive, inanimate antagonist.)

In that respect, Liu’s grimly quirky chase-for-gold movie is of a piece with other financial-hardship crime films making their mark in China, from Lin Yang’s “Blind Shaft” to Jia Zhengke’s “A Touch of Sin” and Johnny Ma’s “Old Stone.” The construct may generate suspense, but the filmmaker’s careful remove almost demands a thoughtfulness about the world being lived in.

Some of the details in Liu’s dryly played narrative bear out the theme of the twin allures of materialism and commercialism: Westernized cultural touches like a Hollister T-shirt, new sneakers, a “Fast and Furious” poster, references to Steve Jobs and “The Godfather.”

There’s even a trippy reverie one character has in an elevator in which her dream to use the money to go to a resort called Shangri-La with her long-haired boyfriend is rendered as a candy-colored Karaoke video interlude in the style of Chinese Communist art. Another character, meanwhile, sees freedom as levels of shopping: farmers’ market versus supermarket versus online. And for that politically relevant touch, there’s a moment when Trump’s voice is heard on a radio.

The vectors of hope, fear and desperation ultimately must clash, though, and in a movie where left-for-dead doesn’t mean out of the picture, that means a conclusion not quite conclusive, but true to form for a pulpy yarn that takes place under portentous skies. It doesn’t give anything away to say there’s a dark sense of humor in giving the last word to a shot of a bag of money partly open, its bounty of pinkish, Mao-emblazoned 100-yuan notes being rained on.

“Have a Nice Day” may not be so nice, but it signifies a step forward for Chinese animation in filmmaker Liu Jian.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Cat in the Hat' Animated Movie to Kick Off Dr Seuss Franchise at Warner Bros

'White Fang' Film Review: Jack London Classic Gets Sturdy, Simplistic Animated Retelling

Donald Trump Is an Animated Idiot in Stephen Colbert's 'Our Cartoon President' Trailer (Video)

'Animaniacs': Hulu, Warner Bros. Partner on '90s Cartoon Reboot

Dakota Fanning Goes Trekkie In ‘Please Stand By’; Strand Opens Once-Banned ‘Have a Nice Day’ – Specialty B.O. Preview

As the Sundance Film Festival begins its wind-down to this weekend’s awards, the remaining attendees will get a preview of Specialty titles that should make their way to big screens later this year. Oscar nominated titles from 2017, including Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Lady Bird and others continue to dominate the Specialty box office, and that won’t likely change well into February.
Some new titles are trickling out in the lead-up to the…

As the Sundance Film Festival begins its wind-down to this weekend's awards, the remaining attendees will get a preview of Specialty titles that should make their way to big screens later this year. Oscar nominated titles from 2017, including Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Lady Bird and others continue to dominate the Specialty box office, and that won’t likely change well into February. Some new titles are trickling out in the lead-up to the…

Neeson is the reason for the season: 19 movies coming this January

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every

Read more…

So many movies, so little time. Every week brings a new crop of them, opening in multiplexes and arthouse theaters across the nation, and arriving in increasingly high volumes on streaming platforms like Netflix. How’s a voracious moviegoer to keep up? That’s where The A.V. Club comes in. The first week of every

Read more...

Quentin Tarantino Meets Wong Kar-Wai With Bloody Animated Chinese Drama ‘Have a Nice Day’ — Berlinale 2017 Review

The second feature from Chinese director Liu Jian is grim crime drama with a lot to say about modern times.

If Quentin Tarantino remade “Pulp Fiction” as an animated movie set in modern day China, it might look something like “Have a Nice Day,” an ensemble drama about the criminal underworld.

The second feature from Liu Jian (“Piercing I”) presents a series of interlocking tales in a pulpy display of desperate characters, all drawn together by a typical device — money — and the reckless behavior caused by it. The vivid palette of Liu’s animation conveys a comic book-like exuberance to the proceedings, but the underlying socioeconomic frustration is very real.

READ MORE: Hong Sang-soo Addresses His Marriage Scandal With a Movie in ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’ — Berlinale 2017

The movie opens with a quote from Leo Tolstoy’s “Resurrection,” in which the author recalls that even in a reckless world filled with unhappy people, “spring was still spring, even in this town.” Liu takes that stance as a starting point for a grimy daylong tale centered on a young man Xiao Zhang, who steals a bag containing 1 million yen from mob boss Uncle Liu, setting off a series of violent encounters across this sleepy ghost town.

The ensuing noir-soaked fairy tale is a gorgeous snapshot of competing interests. The story circulates between several characters: Xhao Zhang frantically attempts to arrange for his fiancée to receive plastic surgery from the confines of a drab internet cafe, but must contend with the advances of a hammer-wielding hitman named Yellow Eye. Simultaneously, a mostly silent killer who moonlights as a butcher and goes by Skinny plans his own scheme for tracking down the thief. Young siblings Ann Ann and her brother Liu, punk rockers who work night shifts at a bar, catch wind of the opportunity and see it as an opportunity to realize their dreams of pop stardom. As the pieces pile up, the ensemble converges — just a little too neatly — for a series of tense encounters in a drab hotel room and against the backdrop of a rainy night.

But credibility isn’t the biggest issue for a movie that traffics so heavily in allegory. As the story moves forward, it’s increasingly clear that “Have a Nice Day” aims to direct its layered sociological approach toward overarching feelings of aspiration and disgust with conditions of daily life in modern China, as well as a developing envy for the Western world. The elusive bag of money, one of the oldest MacGuffins in the book, mainly serves as a motivating device for a much bigger picture. Liu has evidently gone great lengths to ensure the immediacy of his narrative, sampling audio from Donald Trump’s election-night victory speech on the radio, spicing up a conversation about global economics with talk of Brexit and Mark Zuckerberg.

READ MORE: The 2017 IndieWire Berlinale Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

The sense of isolation from these forces, and the ensuing absurd crime plot that unfurls as a result, turns “Have a Nice Day” into a mesmerizing portrait of despair and the capitalist instincts created by it. Mixing the dreaminess of Wong Kar-Wai with early Tarantino vibes, “Have a Nice Day” repurposes these precedents in an exciting new context. Not every mini-arc holds the same degree of intrigue — young punks are inevitably more endearing than stone-faced hitmen — and the movie occasionally suffers from a listless quality as it lingers in a series of meandering conversations. But it remains a markedly fresh window into modern China, told with a hypnotic visual style, spiked with lively pop songs, and a winding plot that never sags into predictability.

The payoff of “Have a Nice Day” arrives in a terrific climax filled with speeding cars and bullets, as if all the pent-up aggression of the previous hour has erupted at once. The outcome leaves the future uncertain, but Liu ends on a provocative note, implying that every struggle is motivated by the possibility of a happy ending, and envisioning that outcome is sometimes as close as one can get to the real deal. At the same time, the collision of interests throughout the movie suggests that a society in which everyone’s competing for the same unobtainable goal will always be defined by letdowns.

Grade: B+

“Have a Nice Day” premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. It is currently seeking distribution.

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Berlin: Edko, Memento Pick Up Animated Competition Film ‘Have a Nice Day’

Hong Kong’s Edko Films and France’s Memento have picked up international sales rights to Berlin competition film “Have a Nice Day.” The film is the first animation feature from China to be selected for a Berlinale competition slot. Edko will represent the film for the key Asian territories. Memento will handle it in the rest of… Read more »

Hong Kong’s Edko Films and France’s Memento have picked up international sales rights to Berlin competition film “Have a Nice Day.” The film is the first animation feature from China to be selected for a Berlinale competition slot. Edko will represent the film for the key Asian territories. Memento will handle it in the rest of... Read more »