Movie Details

A soldier returns home from war to deal with his own private battles in this independent drama. Sgt. Cole Lewis (Michael Cuomo) served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq before injuries left him paralyzed from the waist down and with extensive facial scars. Lewis is sent to a VA hospital, but since the other wards are full, he ends up bunking with the patients in the psychiatric unit. Lewis soon finds himself verbally sparring with Dr. Martinez (Jose Yenque), and his willingness to stand up to authority earns him many friends on the ward, while he also becomes infatuated with Lisa (Monique Gabriela Curnen), a pretty nurse who works at the hospital. But while Lewis is eager to deal with his physical injuries, he avoids confronting the emotional trauma that has thrown him into cycles of depression and anxiety, and in time he's forced to come to term with what happened on the day he was injured. Writer and director K. Lorrel Manning adapted Happy New Year from his own one-act play, which he earlier turned into a short film; the feature had its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi