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THINGS TO COME – Life is Complicated

thingtocome

Stars: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Édith Scob
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve

7.5/10

What’s to say about a film of such an indescribable quality? Things to Come is perhaps an ironically apt title for such a film that continuously teases its own purpose right up til its very end and beyond. This may be a film acting like a Rorschach test where everyone may find a different meaning within, but there’s no denying the strength of the film’s lead performance (from the prolific, yet always incredible Isabelle Huppert) as well as its involving and lively screenplay filled with discussions about all things philosophy and anarchic activism.

Things to Come takes place during a rather troubling time in Nathalie’s (Huppert) life that contains illnesses and infidelities of close family members, as well as a prickly time with her job as a philosophy teacher, where she must encounter young protestors every time she enters the campus. The possible saving grace for her is when she visits a group of young former students (now aspiring anarchists) in a cosy cabin in the woods so she may continue to engage in intellectual discussions to fill in her newly broken heart, as well as for her to determine how she will now navigate her way through life.

Things to Come is seemingly a sort of slice-of-life film, taking place in Nathalie’s life during a time of dramatic changes and reluctant compromises, yet also shows us all the other, smaller, more conversational moments that slyly contribute to showing how she responds to the changes in her life and how she lives through them.

This film is filled with these expertly written cerebral conversations, mostly on philosophy and political activism, that seem to show how much more these characters are in control of their own ideologies than their lives. Huppert leads us through all these discussions, dominating every scene with her presence through an appropriate subtlety as she takes on the heavy blows of life with a stoic assurance that conveys neither total pity nor total indifference.

Watching Things to Come is a peculiar experience, one that demands its audience consider not only its individual moments, but itself as an entirety, as well as its resonating effect. The film sticks closely to real life, without overdoing its cinematic appeal, right up to the wonderful last shot that ties off the film and this section of Nathalie’s life, allowing the right amount of conclusiveness as the title suggests.

Things to Come plays at UWA Somerville from Mon 13-Sun 19 Feb, 8pm, and at ECU Joondalup Pines from Tues 21-Sun 26 Feb, 8pm. For more info head to perthfestival.com.au.

DAVID MORGAN-BROWN

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