Things to Come (L’Avenir) France
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka
Runtime: 100 minutes
Showtime: April 30th 10:00 AM
Language: French & German, with English subtitles
Berlin International Film Festival, Bucharest International Film Festival: Best Director. Boston Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Awards, London Critics Circle Film Awards, Best Actress, Isabelle Huppert. Three other wins, 21 nominations.
“A film whose subtle satisfactions very much sneak up on you.”—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Time
Things to Come avoids the familiar trappings that undermine so many contemporary films. There is little melodrama and very few incidents as such. It is simply about one woman’s life and it’s a spellbinding experience.
The great Isabelle Huppert offers another magnetic performance about a woman facing a barrage of changes and losses.
Huppert plays Nathalie, a philosophy professor who has a comfortable life and a successful career. However, she suddenly undergoes setbacks that could shatter anyone’s life. Her mother needs assisted living. Nathalie’s children grow up and move out. Her husband leaves her for his younger mistress. Her publishers ditch her philosophy textbook in favor of something flashier.
Yet Nathalie allows herself almost no self-pity. She visits the countryside where her protégé Fabien lives in an anarchist cheese-making collective. She tends to her mother’s fat, housebound cat. She visits the family’s beach house one last time to collect her things. She carries on.
This is not the typical Hollywood female-midlife-crisis movies where women have to undergo physical and geographical extremes to get their groove back. Nathalie has her books, her work and her own mind to see her through.
Hansen-Løve isn’t out to push our buttons; while other filmmakers feel the need to italicize, here’s a director who trusts audiences to pay attention, to understand, and most importantly, to savor.