Saturday, 13 August 2016

MIFF REVIEW: THINGS TO COME (L'AVENIR)




8/10

Natalie is an academic - a philosopher and a teacher who is passionate about her job. Her life seems complete with a husband of 25 years, two children, who are old enough to leave the “nest”, and a demanding mother,  who she loves dearly. But then Natalie’s life, as she knows it, starts to crumble. Her husband leaves her for a younger woman and she suddenly realises she is free to do what she likes. What does her future has in store?

If you love Isabelle Huppert THINGS TO COME is a must see film. She owns every on screen moment, giving us a woman who needs to rethink not only her outlook on personal life, but also on the philosophical beliefs she taught and followed for many years.

THINGS TO COME is a small, slice of life movie, like a window into another person’s world. Natalie is a strong character, who is taking her husband’s infidelity and other hardships on the chin, however, as any philosopher would be, she is full of doubts about her existence and its purpose. Although happy, because she is intellectually fulfilled, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t need anyone in her life. Her platonic attachment to the former student Fabien helps to get her through. He is a sort of an “intellectual child” she had raised and made “his own man”. But is this all she really wished for him?

The script of THINGS TO COME abandons the familiar Hollywood tropes of women’s solidarity when faced with a divorce – Natalie does not have a female confidant she can discuss her problems with. Instead she is alone in this battle, as any real woman in similar circumstances would be.


THINGS TO COME does not give any conclusions or answers, or advice for the women of a certain age who face the possibility of growing old alone. But the name itself offers a conciliation. There are things to come. And therefore – a future.

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