Thursday 12 March 2020

Things to Come (L'Avenir) [2016]

Mia Hansen-Løve’s delicately strung Things to Come comprises of a volley of emotions – joy, anger, bitterness, melancholy, pathos, peace – but portrayed with extraordinary restraint and exquisitely understated brushstrokes. And, through that, she remarkably captured reflections on family, marriage, ageing, loneliness, and, most crucially, reconciling oneself to the passage of time. The beautifully paced narrative covered nearly a decade in the life of Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), a quintessential Parisian intellectual, philosophy professor, respected writer, and married for many years. Her carefully balanced life, however, starts crumbling when her pestering and senile mother (Édith Scob) dies, followed by her erudite husband (André Marcon) leaving her for a younger woman, and her kids too eventually move on; and meanwhile, her book gets withdrawn because of dwindling sales owing to her refusal to accept market changes. The sole ray of light in her increasingly disrupted life turns out to be Fabien (Roman Kolinka), a brilliant former student of hers who’s decided to shift to the countryside to write, and invites her to join him and his friends there. However, when Fabien, who believes in political radicalism and anarchism, observes that she doesn’t practice the political principles she teaches and has lost her firebrand youth, she might finally reconcile to her new status quo. Huppert was magnificent as the purposeful, self-confident and yet quietly vulnerable protagonist, in this disarmingly affecting, gently humorous and delightfully sophisticated work, with minimalist but lovely usage of music too – from Western Classical to Woody Guthrie. And, this certainly was a year for middle-aged women protagonists – a rarity in world cinema – given that Verhoeven’s Elle (which too had a stellar Huppert performance) and Almodovar’s Julieta released in the same year.

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Urban Drama
Language: French
Country: France

No comments: