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New Release Review - THINGS TO COME

A philosophy teacher is forced to deal with a series of life changing events.






Review by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)

Directed by: Mia Hansen-Love

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, AndrĂ© Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob



Hansen-Love's film is a tribute to the silent sacrifices the women in our lives make, sacrifices which all too often remain unrewarded, if even acknowledged. And is there a better actress to represent the quiet strength of womanhood than Huppert?



With her previous movie, the lengthy DJ drama Eden, writer-director Mia Hansen-Love explored the idea of having to leave behind something you love and move on into a new and uncertain chapter of life. It's a theme repeated here, with the previous film's young male protagonist swapped out for an aging female central figure.


That would be Isabelle Huppert's Nathalie, a philosophy teacher who lives a contented middle class life, relatively free of stress until a series of life-changing events force her to reboot her existence. Firstly, her husband drops the bombshell that he's leaving her for a younger woman, then she is forced to move her mother into a retirement home, and on top of all that her publishers are doing their best to subtly drop her textbooks from their roster in favour of more youth friendly works.


What makes Nathalie stand out from similar characters we've seen in the past is how, like Eden's Paul, she takes all this on the chin; this isn't another comfortable white protagonist asking us to feel sorry for them. Pragmatic to her core, Nathalie simply accepts every tribulation that comes her way and figures out a way to deal with it. When she escapes an unwanted sexual advance in an alley, her reaction is closer to someone rebutting the unwanted advances of an aggressive charity collector than those of a would be rapist.


It's an incident Nathalie never shares with anyone, and it's chilling in this regard, a reminder that we all know women who have been victims of this sort of behaviour but choose to keep it to themselves. As a mother and a teacher, Nathalie has always had to be the most together person in the room.

Hansen-Love's film is a tribute to the silent sacrifices the women in our lives make - our mothers, our teachers, our lovers - sacrifices which all too often remain unrewarded, if even acknowledged. And is there a better actress to represent the quiet strength of womanhood than Huppert?

Things to Come is in cinemas September 2nd.




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