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The Future (2011)

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When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophie / Voice of Paw-Paw
Joe Putterlik ...
Joe / Voice of The Moon
Dance Studio Receptionist
Animal Shelter Receptionist
Ella ...
Real Cat
Dr. Straus
Alain First Solicitation
Second Solicitation
Neighbor Woman (as Diana Sandoval)
Tree by Tree Canvasser
Frank Langley ...
T-Shirt Puppeteer
Erinn K. Williams ...


When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

27 October 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Satisfaction  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,137 (USA) (29 July 2011)


$568,366 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sophie: As Paw Paw: Everything would be perfect there, like a dream, but not a dream, because I would never wake up, and soon I would not even be able to remember my old life.
See more »


Featured in Brows Held High: The Future (2012) See more »


Where or When
Written by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers
Performed by Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman
Courtesy of Columbia Records
[By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing]
See more »

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User Reviews

Loved it. Hated it. Then loved it again.
22 January 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"The Future" is an excellent, surreal, cold comedy in the tradition of the great Spike Jonze & Charlie Kaufman films "Adaptation", "Being John Malkovich" and the brain-blasting "Synecdoche NY".

"Cold comedy" is a term I just made up to describe the way they make me feel. They make me laugh, but I also feel an uneasy chill up my spine. Maybe it's because the underlying story is somewhat cynical, with a chilly, brooding philosophy of life. But these films manage to poke fun of this hopeless condition in a way that tickles your funny bone.

I preface this review with a warning. As often, whoever wrote the DVD packaging is an idiot. This is definitely NOT a "whimsical romantic comedy" or whatever they advertise. So if you're expecting something cute & fun like "When Harry Met Sally", you might want to move on. Instead, what we get is a very, VERY oddball farce centered around a young clueless couple. If you liked "(500) Days of Summer" which, itself, is prefaced with the narration "This is not a love story", then keep reading because you'll probably like this movie too.

If you're an animal lover, particularly someone who has rescued a dog or cat from the local pound, you'll be drawn in instantly. The story begins through the eyes of a stray cat "Paw Paw" in a shelter, nervously waiting to be adopted by the couple before time runs out. The voice of the cat becomes the voice of wisdom throughout the film. I've never seen a film that takes such a thoughtful & innocent approach as through the eyes of a raggedy, injured cat waiting at the pound.

The first half of the movie is so bizarrely funny, with such unique characters living in their private bizarre bubble, it feels something like "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure". But now imagine "Bill & Ted" if it were directed by French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Starting to get the picture...? In the director's commentary on the DVD, writer/director/star Miranda July calls this a very "still" movie. There are long breaks between characters speaking. There is a lot of silence, allowing us to soak in the depth of the moment. She jokes about one scene where the leading man dramatically rips off his headphones, and she calls it the big action scene, the equivalent of a car crash in this movie. Haha.

The slow, deadpan delivery makes the humor even more pervasive. I laughed out loud several times in the first half. But midway through the movie, the mood shifts suddenly and drastically. The remaining half is no longer a comedy but more like a soul-searching philosophical adventure. At first I hated the unexpected change (as the title of this review implies) because I was really enjoying the oddball comedy.

But, as the recurring theme of the movie implies, "the beginning" is only temporary. Life changes drastically. Love changes drastically. The plot, theme and mood of the film illustrate this perfectly. I can't say much more without ruining the story, so just be ready for anything. Ride this crazy roller-coaster to the end.

The acting and particularly the casting is flawless. The chemistry between the two leads, Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) is so perfect you'd think they're soulmates in real life. Another excellent piece of casting is Joe Putterlik who plays the old man. He is NOT an actor! Miranda found him while answering an ad in the Pennysaver classifieds, and she was so taken by his authenticity that she cast him in the role.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the great use of symbolism. You have to pay close attention, or even see the movie twice like I did, to catch most of it. Especially in the 2nd half when things become very poetic and sublime, you have to be on your toes.

If you like surreal comedy, like the films I mentioned earlier, films by Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "The Science of Sleep"), the early Johnny Depp flick "Arizona Dream", the Paul Giamatti comedy "Cold Souls", or maybe even the grandfather of modern surreal comedy "Catch 22", don't hesitate to see this movie. See them all. Whenever I stumble on a film like this, I'm reminded that cinema is a true art form.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Very Important Question hera1989
I had to give this film 1 star, I wanted to give it -10 matt-1133
Beautiful Film. doliver21-41-183267
I had to turn it off Blackdog5861
When those little black panties came sliding down... Mitcher69
did the boyfriend only imagine the scenes while he stopped time? ahuramazda
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