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A realistic and affecting slice of a woman's life
yris20024 February 2017
I read some reviews wondering about the point of the movie: I think asking for the point is simply insignificant when watching a movie like this. It depicts a portion of a mature woman's life, a philosophy teacher and an intellectually brilliant editor, having to come to terms with loss, abandonment and conscious aging. One would say: nothing new, nothing original, or interesting. On the contrary, I found the picture deeply affecting, in the apparently placid but still very focused and deep way it portray this normal life. It reflects so realistically the natural and typical feminine facing of things as they come, that it gets intrinsically authentic and involving. As usual, Isabelle Huppert does not only interpret but lives her character and is the real pillar of strength of the picture. If you love unpretentious but simply authentic women's stories you'll like this movie, and you won't have to ask where the point is.
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philosophy teacher survives loss and abandonment
maurice_yacowar7 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Donovan song's tension between seeking an impossible purity and living a deep peace establishes the film's central theme and heroine Isabel's primary virtue. She lives a live of immediate, accepting presence. She won't be tempted by shallow rewards or depressed by disappointments. She embodies the strength and resilience of the examined life.

As the Rousseau quote declares, desire is the enemy of happiness. Our failed satisfactions are based upon the desire for something new — which, once achieved, no longer satisfies.

Isabel has lived through the political temptations of her time, from her flirtation with communism through the '68 revolution. So she's not tempted by the current students' strike for pensions or her star ex-student Fabien's anarchism. In contrast, her husband stays stuck in the attitudes he held at 18 and has the rigidity and insensitivity to tyrannize his students.

Isabel finds real value and fulfilment in teaching philosophy to her high school students, training them to think for themselves and taking an interest in their lives. She has a stoic response to her publishers' initial insistence on jazzing up her textbooks, then suspending their publication altogether. Her integrity won't allow her to abandon her values. She has the dignity and self-respect to accept their abandonment with aplomb.

That also sustains her through her husband's abandonment for a younger woman. As briskly as Isabel cuts loose from him she ends her connection to his family's country home where they vacationed every summer and where she planned and cultivated her garden. In all their scenes together she conducts herself with strength and an absolute rejection of self-pity.

This self-sufficiency supports her when she visits Fabien's mountain retreat and when her fragile yet demanding mother dies. A scene with an importunate stranger at a cinema shows her refusal to seek carnal reaffirmation. Her grandson's birth shows her instead embracing the role of grandmother, fully and warmly.

In the last scene Isabel hosts a Christmas dinner with her children. To let her daughter eat, Isabel goes to tend to the crying baby, stilling him with yet another song. With the family dinner framed out of the shot on the left and Isabel and the infant framed out on the right, the shot focuses on the shelves of books between them.

The film is about the use of those books, i.e., the traditional function of philosophy — detached from the fashions of the day in pedagogy or politics — to address the one essential question: How should we live our life?

Aptly, the last song is "Unchained Melody," which turns an exultation in freedom into a love song. The Schubert song and the Woody Guthrie ballad both provide imagery of transcending the mundane reality by discovering the ethereal around it.

The other characters live to pursue new pleasures, which inevitably fail to satisfy them. The husband's new woman has left him alone for Christmas, apparently not yet ready to introduce him to her family. Fabien and his German friends debate the political uses of anonymity or the collective authorship (i.e., the death of the author or the personal, a recently fashionable fiction).

Isabel's daughter has wanted a baby but at the tension between her parents dissolves into tears and needs to hold him again. As if he will give her the stability she lost through her father's infidelity. The preacher similarly cites Isabel's career as a philosophy teacher to be the proper justification for her mother's life of pain, isolation and abandonment.

And then there is Pandora. This is the obese, willful, all-black cat that Isabel inherits from her mother, is allergic to and impatient with, and finally leaves at Fabien's retreat. Far from the traditional Pandora, who unleashed the world's evil winds, this one is a minor key replay of Isabel's themes. Pampered by Isabel's mother, Pandora hides from whoever else enters her mistress's flat. She's heavy to carry, like the unwanted burdens we all have periodically thrust upon us. But like Isabel she has a feral intelligence and instinct. This house cat takes off into the forest but has the instincts to survive and find her way home in the morning, bringing her new mistress back a dead mouse. In her instinctual survival and her integrity the cat is another reflection of our wise, warm and worldly philosopher.

The film is titled L'Avenir, "the future." Written and directed by a woman, it offers a real rarity: a heroine of intellect, will and strength. That's a refreshing new kind of superhero.
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Life goes on
ReganRebecca2 February 2017
Until this movie I never quite got the hype for Mia Hansen-Løve. Her slice-of-life, semi- autobiographical movies seemed forgettable to me. Maybe Hansen-Løve is growing as an artist, or maybe it's just Huppert. Whatever it is, Things to Come, is a movie that's stuck in my mind, a beautiful portrait of a woman whose life is upended just as she is entering the final third of her life.

The great French actress Isabelle Huppert plays Nathalie (based on Hansen-Løve's own mother). A successful philosophy professor with two grown children, a fellow philosopher for a husband, and an ailing mother, she is comfortably settled in her life. But as the movie continues on we watch as the things that Nathalie considered so much a part of her, change, dissolve, disintegrate.

I'll admit it, I was actually initially reluctant to watch the movie because the idea of seeing a woman having everything taken away from her seemed almost too sad to bear. And yet Things to Come is a surprisingly joyful movie. Nathalie isn't an automaton, she cries as the things she once counted on as part of her life are no more, but at the same time she picks herself up, dusts herself off and goes on.
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Things to Come
quinimdb30 November 2016
"Things to Come" is centered around Nathalie, a philosophy teacher, and while the film does touch on philosophical elements, the focus is on Nathalie's personal life and her own fears and thoughts about her slowly disintegrating personal relationships.

She has her husband Heinz, two children, a mother on the verge of death who constantly needs her attention, and a previous student that she now has a sort of mother-son relationship with. The film starts with Nathalie, Heinz, and their children visiting a grave of a French author, and then cuts to several years later when Nathalie is called by her dying mother because she is "having a panic attack", although it seems she's done this before and simply wants to force her daughter to give her company. Soon after she is confronted by young protesters on the way to work. They are angry about something having to do with their future retirement. From the start, this film shows that it is about a fear of the future: fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of old age.

Soon it is revealed that Heinz is having an affair, and he is told by his children that he must choose between her and his wife. He tells his wife that he chose the other woman. She desperately addressed the news with "I thought you would love me forever".

From here, she begins to realize her aging is happening faster than she has realized as her personal relationships and desires begin to fade away slowly and subtly until she is left with nothing but a cat, until she finally accepts her aging and lets go of that as well. The character becomes conflicted, and Isabelle Huppert conveys this repressed regret and fear perfectly. She doesn't want to care about her husband's affair, and she wants to be satisfied with what she has accomplished, but her dreams of the future seem to be destroyed, as each of those she loves begins to let her down. She even tries to fill the whole left by her husband through another relationship, but she no longer has the will or desire. In a great shot, the screen fades to black as she opens the blinds, showing the reality of her loneliness. She begins to lose hope.

Her mother's death marks the disappearance of the one person in her life who still needed her. Her mother's life was revealed to be full of suffering and lost love, but Nathalie was the one thing in her life that she could be proud of, and now Nathalie has taken her place.

As extreme as this sounds in my description, the film itself is very subtle, and relies heavily on Huppert's performance, to great effect.

While "Things to Come" is a solemn, emotional film with themes that are upsetting and relatable for everyone, there is hope in the end. Through the newborn baby, there is hope, potential, and desire, and that is what is important. That is what we need to continue in life, even if the reality doesn't live up to the desire.
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Grown Up French Drama of one woman's life unravelling
t-dooley-69-3869169 December 2016
Isabelle Huppert plays Nathalie a woman reaching middle age with a long time marriage and two grown up children. She teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris and life is good. She also enjoys her former students who seem to nurture her in return for the nurturing she gave them.

Then her husband announces he is having an affair and is leaving her. With the certitude of familiarity now removed and new possibilities blossoming she has to decide if this is a tragedy or a new beginning and what to make of her life.

Now this is just compelling from start to finish all the performances are brilliant. This is one of those films where you feel you are being a voyeur in many respects – it is that well done. The sub stories too are done with such care that they segue seamlessly into the main narrative – rather like the way things do in real life. Huppert is superb (as she always is) Roman Kolinka as Fabien is rather good to and worthy of a mention as he is sort of ambiguous but in a way so contrived that you question whether he actually is.

Anyway, in French a bit of German and the ever present English this is an understated gem that will bring much reward to any who should seek it out – recommended.
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Is there a point, and should we care???
mamlukman19 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
We had seen the same director's "Eden" two years ago, and frankly, if we had noticed that she directed this, we would have given it a miss. We saw it at the Toronto Film Festival.

Like "Eden," this is one of those movies that simply shows a person's life over some period of time. There is no moral, no point to the story (as far as I can see), very little humor (Isabelle Huppert was at the screening and said she tried to inject a bit of humor with her acting), and more than a bit pretentious (the director seemed to be in love with the final scene, although it left me cold).

I have a feeling this was, like "Eden," fairly autobiographical. The director's parents were both philosophy teachers, and I would have liked them to have commented on the movie--was this really about them? Is the director simply making a movie in the same way other people might talk about their parents to a therapist? I don't know.

My objection is that nothing much happens--either in terms of plot or in terms of involvement in the movie. Yes, her husband leaves her for another woman. Yes, she likes her former student, but there is not much passion in either situation. She doesn't seem to care, and neither did I. There are occasional long quotations from philosophers, and maybe this would have made everything more comprehensible, but the quotations were quite long, and hard to follow with subtitles. Even so, you shouldn't need a quotation to make sense of a movie.
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Lacks individualism and quality writing
Horst_In_Translation13 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"L'avenir" is a French(language) movie from this year (2016) and these 100 minutes are the most recent work by fairly young French writer and director Mia Hansen-Løve. From start to finish, it is a showpiece for established actress Isabelle Huppert and she plays a teacher, who struggles with her marriage, with her family, with her work and with life in general. We see her at her job quickly and find out these are tumultuous times. But this profession-related thing is just one aspect and afterward we never see her at school again, which surprised me a bit. Instead we watch her struggle with her cheating husband and with the way she tries to adapt to the life of one of her protégés. This was also one of the film's weaknesses. Firstly I found the actor who plays the latter extremely bland and forgettable, which was a deal-breaker in the negative sense as he plays possibly the biggest supporting character. Then also, the way the film tried to make us curious if there will be a romantic relationship between the two felt fairly cringeworthy and clumsy and the film really delivered in very few other areas beyond that suspense. The whole way the romance and attraction aspect was written in here was not to my liking. The attempts of the filmmaker to describe Huppert as a strong-willed and attractive yet very fragile women felt extremely false and generic to me. There are moments when the film has sub-par television level at best and as a whole it was disappointing for a big screen release. The weakest moment of the film was probably the cinema scene, which added absolutely nothing except the fact that they wanted to make sure we don't forget how desirable Huppert('s character) was. The cat scenes and the solid ending could not really make up for all the flaws in this film. France is definitely among the most creative countries right now when it comes to filmmaking, both quality and quantity, but this film of slightly over 1.5 hours we have here adds very little (almost nothing) in that regard. I also found Huppert underwhelming, even if she obviously suffers from the generic way her character was written. It's not a question of how likable her character is eventually. It is more about the fact that in this film there is nothing she hasn't done before and usually she's done it way better. Quite a disappointment and I give "Things to Come" a thumbs-down. Not recommended.
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A beautiful uncut diamond of a movie.
MOscarbradley8 September 2016
I have to admit I haven't seen any of the other films to have been directed by Mia Hansen-Love but if they are as good as "Things to Come" she will already have made her mark as one of the great directors working today, not that a great deal happens , in the conventional sense of 'cinematic action', in "Things to Come". This is simply a portrait of a woman, (Isabelle Huppert), who has settled into middle-age, neither particularly happy nor particularly unhappy. She is a teacher and writer of philosophy who uses the philosophical treatises she's always lived by to get through her largely uneventful life.

She has a dull, middle-aged husband who also teaches, two grown children and an ageing, ill mother, (Edith Scob from "Eyes Without a Face"), when suddenly her life is thrown into disarray, Nevertheless she copes, mainly due to her friendship with a younger man who was once one of her students, There is a suggestion that they might become romantically involved but it's just a hint in a film full of hints.

This is serious stuff, intellectually rigorous and yet full of humor; a film for intelligent, grown-up audiences who like to take their brains with them when they go to the pictures and Huppert, who is never off the screen, is stunningly good. Every gesture she makes, the way she walks, tells us something about this woman as much as what she says. This is great acting.

Everyone else follows suit. Roman Kolinka as Fabien, the New-Age would-be anarchist she comes to rely on, if only for company, could have been such a cliché but Kolinka brings depth and shadings to the role and makes him likable and interesting. Even Andre Marcon as the dull husband is dull in a way that makes him sympathetic rather than a figure of fun.

By now you might have realized that I loved this film as much as any I've seen this year. Is it a masterpiece? Probably not. In the end it's gossamer thin but it is also a gem, a beautiful uncut diamond of a movie. See it at all costs.
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Isabelle Huppert!
christopher-underwood19 September 2016
This is the first of the half dozen films Mia Hansen-Love has made that I have seen and I'm impressed. Helped enormously by the powerful and ever convincing central performance of the wonderful Isabelle Huppert, this is a slight but affecting movie. Thoughtful and thought provoking we are introduced to philosophy teacher Huppert who has a deft and loving touch when involved with her pupils and her more conservative and plodding, though not unlikeable, husband. Beautifully shot, the film floats rather than dwells upon the importance or otherwise of philosophy in one's life, the nature of politics and youthful rebellion and with the assuredness of director and lead actress nothing really perturbs even though there are potentially disturbing upsets along the way. There were a couple of instances that made me sit up and were possibly only included to help propel the film forward for in themselves they seemed most unlikely events. There is a stranger who gropes at Huppert in a cinema, follows her wench she changes seats and even onto the street where he kisses her fully against a wall. Does this really happen in Paris? Towards the end both Huppert and husband take it in turns to hold their daughter's new born baby each declaring it looks like them. Surely throughout the world the claim is by the parents that the child looks like the mother and by the mother that it may look like her parents. These two moments seem more vivid and inappropriate because the rest of the film is so placid but possibly their greater significance was lost on me. Very enjoyable little film nonetheless.
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Neat portrait of sophisticated philosophy prof spoiled by mundane resolution to mid-life crisis
Turfseer25 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to believe Isabelle Huppert is 63 years old. Here she plays Nathalie Chazeaux, a Parisian philosophy professor who suddenly faces a mid-life crisis. The screenplay is by writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve who has served up quite a convincing portrait of a sophisticated academic and the world she inhabits. If only Hansen-Løve paid as much attention to her plot as she did with dialogue, then this might have ended up as a certifiable masterpiece. Alas, like many films these days, it just wasn't meant to be.

Nonetheless, in the early going, Things to Come has great promise. Huppert's Nathalie is a bundle of energy who stands up to student protesters who attempt to intimidate her students by blocking them from entering the campus and taking her class. Then there are a couple of young book publishers who would like Nathalie to re-write her textbook since it's no longer selling well. She not only resists the re-write but opposes a sleek new design they rather untactfully advocate.

Nathalie also must deal with an aging mother who calls the fire department whenever she has a panic attack. Some have pegged her a hypochondriac but as the narrative plays out, her actual health condition is decidedly quite poor and before you know it Nathalie and the rest of her family are attending a funeral.

The break into the second act occurs when Nathalie's daughter confronts her father with the knowledge that he's been having an affair, and demands that he either stay with her mother or leave her for the other woman. The husband named Heinz (André Marcon) is also a professor but a bit of a wet fish who decides to leave Nathalie, prompting the aforementioned mid-life crisis.

At this juncture, one prepares for some unexpected or perhaps suspenseful things to happen with Nathalie, but sadly they never come. Much is made of Nathalie's relationship with her former student, Fabien, who retreats to the mountains and lives with a small commune of anarchists who also happen to be graduate or former graduate students. On her first visit to see Fabien after the breakup with her husband, Nathalie is most concerned about her house cat who has wandered off into the woods. Fabien reassures her that the cat will return out of "instinct," and Fabien's promise foreshadows the direction Nathalie ultimately takes in response to the new path she's forced to take in life.

If you're expecting some sparks to fly between Nathalie and Fabien, you will be disappointed. A few blunt words are exchanged after Fabien finds Nathalie too bourgeois for his tastes but the anarchist and former professor seem to get along despite their divergent political pathways.

Nothing happens between Nathalie and her ex-husband either except for Nathalie giving him a continual cold shoulder after he leaves her for the other woman. Nathalie's anger is understandable but she chooses not to look for a new man since she asserts she's too set in her ways at this point to make a new relationship work. Casual sex is also out of the question especially after a creep follows her out of a movie theater and boorishly plants a kiss on her lips right out on the streets.

Things to Come is best described as a "slice of life," but even the most basic of dramas need some kind of twist that takes us out of the ordinary (albeit for at least a single moment of enlightenment or epiphany). Here Hansen-Løve is content to have her protagonist reject a new direction and embrace the mundane. Indeed Nathalie follows her "instinct" by becoming a good grandmother, upon the birth of her first grandchild.

For some critics Hansen-Løve's sophistry is wrapped up in the narrative's "subtlety." Others may find that subtlety is simply a code word for lack of clever plotting—leading to a fitful conclusion that character arcs should never be associated with the moniker of the mundane.
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There was no point in the movie
shantigiriorama30 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see the film, because I often like French films and also noticed that the rating at IMDb was not that bad.

When watching the film, I was expecting a turn of events that would give the film some meaning, but I expected in vain. Nothing such happened and I could not grasp why the film was made in the first place - perhaps only because it had received funding?

I gave the film 6 points out of 10, because the acting and filming was good and the characters in the film were sympathetic. However, the manuscript was weak and the director lacked vision.

I left the movie theater somewhat disappointed.
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Not, Alas, Welles
writers_reign16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
On one level this is yet another Master Class in Screen Acting delivered by Isabelle Huppert, long established as the Mistress of the Master Class, and if necessary I'll settle for that for we devotees of the sublime Huppert have long learned to endure her wayward choices which sometimes verge on the bizarre, in her career-long quest to both stretch herself as an actress whilst simultaneously giving a break to fledgling writers/directors. It would, of course, be churlish not to applaud someone who can select from the cream of writing/directing talent, and opts instead to lend her illustrious name to lesser talents but I, for one, wish she would 'discover' an Alexandra Leclerc (Les Soeurs Fachees) more often and give her admirers something entertaining. With Things To Come she has found something of a middle ground and in a movie in which nothing happens all at once she keeps us engrossed effortlessly.
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Huppert just keeps getting better
ferguson-63 December 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. What was once a rarity is now becoming more commonplace … movies made by women about women. This latest from writer/director Mia Hansen-Love (Eden, 2014) features one of the most interesting lead characters from any film this year.

Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is a philosophy professor, writer, longtime wife to Heinz (Andre Marcon), mother of two grown children, and care-taker to a depressed, slightly-dementia-stricken mother (Edith Scob) who is prone to calling for emergency workers when Nathalie doesn't answer her phone calls. The film offers no murder mystery, alien invasion or other earth-rattling event. Instead it guides us through Nathalie's process in dealing with life things that occur on a daily basis.

The genius of the film, script and character stems from the fact that Nathalie never creates drama where none exists … a rare personality trait these days. Rather than plead for mercy from the universe, she simply plows forward during what would be three personal-world-crumbling events in a lesser movie: her husband cheats and leaves her, her mother dies, and she is fired (or at least forced to move off her method) from the job she loves.

Ms. Huppert delivers yet another stellar performance (see her in this year's Elle) as Nathalie. She is an intellectual and thoughtful woman, but not necessarily the warm and cuddly type. Sure she cares for her family and inspires her students, and rather than lash out at her confessing husband, she only shows frustration when he takes a couple of her beloved books in his move out (or stuffing his flowers in the trash can). Disappointment is more obvious when her prized former-pupil Fabien (Roman Kolinka) is unable to competently debate his radical views with her … choosing instead a condescending, brusque approach designed to shut her down.

Nathalie is more shocked by her publisher's intention to "modernize" her book than by finding "The Unabomber Manifesto" on the shelf at Fabien's commune for intelligent anarchists. The politics of a particular situation has influence on nearly every scene, and Ms. Hansen-Love's script emphasizes the importance of seasoning/experience in handling life … and does a remarkable job contrasting those who have it from those who don't. Few movie soundtracks include both Woody Guthrie and Schubert, but then both fit well when the story avoids a mid-life self-discovery, and instead focuses on the realization of freedom. These are two very different things, and you'd have a difficult time finding a better look than this film offers.
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"The future is compromised"
paul-allaer15 January 2017
"Things to Come" (2016 release from France; original title "L'Avenir" (The Future); 100 min.) brings the story of Nathalie, As the movie opens, we see Nathalie and her family visiting the burial site of Chateaubriand at St. Malo in Brittany. We then go to "Some Years Later", and Nathalie and her husband Heinz, both lyceum teachers, are dealing with various student protests against "the reform", much to their irritation. In a parallel story, Nathalie needs to deal with her aging mother, who seemingly calls her every 5 minutes regarding an ailment (real or perceived). At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from French writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve, best known for the excellent "Father of My Children" some years ago. Here she brings to the big screen a seemingly ordinary slice of life about a women in her late fifties, dealing with changes around her: her aging mom, issues at school, issues with her husband, issues with her schoolbook publishing company, etc. etc. No bomb explosions, no special effects, no car chases, just people interacting and living their lives. The first hour of the movie plays out in Paris, and makes day-to-day life in Paris look fantastic: mostly sunny weather, people playing in the park, people enjoying a coffee on a sidewalk terrace, etc. (Having grown up in nearby Belgium, I can assure you that in reality the weather is rarely that nice...) The rests of the movie plays out at the family's summer house in Brittany, and also in the Rhone mountains. But the very best part of the movie is of course to watch Isabelle Huppert in action. In my mind, Huppert is the European Meryl Streeo (they are about the same age), and Huppert seemingly is only getting better as she's getting older (just like Streep). Here Huppert brings the Nathalie character with a vulnerability yet an equal amount of determination. In one of her classes, she asks the students "can the established truth be debated?" Later on, she concludes that "the future is compromised".

"Things to Come" won major acclaim when it premiered at the Berlin film festival last year, and rightfully so. As it happens, Huppert released another film last year, "Elle", that won her even greater acclaim. It's tough when you're competing against yourself. "Things to Come" opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati (the same theater where "Elle" is still showing, coincidentally). The Sunday matinée screening where I saw this at was packed, to my surprise. I guess the word is out that basically any film starring Isabelle Huppert is almost certainly a must-see, and that certainly is the case here. "Things to Come" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Will ya wake me when it's over...
jtncsmistad15 December 2016
The new release "Things to Come" is without question one of the most uninteresting, unengaging, plodding and pointless torture tests of cinematic viewing I will EVER experience in my, or ANY OTHER, lifetime. 

I get that this is a slice of midlife crisis examination of a woman whose world is catastrophically crashing down all around her.  And I have appreciated the great French actress Isabelle Huppert in other star vehicles (e.g., "Home" and "The Piano Teacher").  But as talented as she is, Huppert is hopelessly lost in this pretentious mess centered around philosophy, anarchy and shattered relationships that tries hard, way TOO much so, in fact, to be more important and profound than the film ever manages to realize. 

And trust me, I kept waiting for any manner of compelling "things to come" to actually come to pass here. 

And waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.   And...
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What a total waste of time...
patbradley43524 April 2017
Del Amitri, a Scottish pop band, wrote a brilliant song called Nothing Ever Happens- and it is probably summed up in this piece of utter drivel. What a bore-fest if ever there was one. Believe the positive reviews if you want to, but they're all fake as far as I'm concerned. I truly do not know what is going on in IMDb. Soap operas on TV are far superior to this piece of pretentious garbage. Okay, the acting was very good, but good acting cannot ever elevate a boring movie. I am truly fed up with people giving good reviews to films that are not in the least good, but I suppose that's the way of the world. Give 100 people an assignment to help a poor movie by giving it great reviews - and bingo! - the film will do much better. I suppose we'll all just need to live with false reviews. Please watch this movie, as I did, and you will see I am being candid and frank. Good luck to you if you think it deserves the good reviews.
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Pretentious, artificial, awful
em-chandelier17 April 2017
It has been a long time since I last saw a more pretentious, artificial, unnatural film as this one. The acting is artificial, the plot is non- existent, the theme unnatural. The same unnatural French issues, never saying anything, cryptic and lacking any kind of depth. Absolutely awful and boring, boring in the deepest sense - why would anyone make a film about nothing to say nothing, to transmit nothing, to show nothing?!
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A load of pretentious rubbish
edhart086 May 2017
Another French film that should/ could have been great. Stilted dialogue about Philosophy. And how come if the French [ who I love, their country, their culture, their history , their language etc ] generally always have English/American songs on their soundtrack when they are so pedantic about keeping the French language ''pure''.....I couldn't wait for it to finish [ as did my partner ]
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Frankfurt Middle School
antcol81 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
If this movie could have lived up to all of the ideas it flirts with and all of the things it proposes, it could have been a masterpiece. But it didn't, so it isn't. But, look, I actually don't care so much. Why not? Because Isabelle Huppert is incredible. I don't really follow actors much. I'm more of a classic "Auteurist", trained by Sarris' American Cinema. But Isabelle...She is a phenomenon. You can feel her intelligence in every shot; you can feel her thinking. And she maintains a remarkable girlishness, even in her sixties. Isabelle...OK, enough of that!

But a film which engages with the desperate search for new paradigms of Resistance and Revolution...A film which brings in a Zizek reference right on cue, in a non - name dropping kind of way. This is a film which matters - or which could matter, if the look was not so French Lifetime Channel. I mean, I know I'm showing my age if I say that I would like a film which engages with ideas to also engage with them on the level of Film Grammar. I mean, Adorno's Minima Moralia (referenced several times) is Adorno for Beginners - the film coulda reflected that work on some kind of structural level, at least a LITTLE bit, without losing the audience. At least I think so! Or hope so...

I would've hoped for something on the level of Godard's La Chinoise, but the film is closer to Tanner's Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000. But, for 2016, that's pretty good...pretty good. Anyway, it's hip for French directors to turn their backs on Godard now - I heard Desplechin announce (with pride) that he had moved from Godard to Truffaut. Well, if My Golden Years is any indication, it's not a good move...

Things to Come is not a great film. But it is filled with lots of Little Beauties. I loved the Woody Guthrie scene. Especially how actor Roman Kolinka really nails Woody's nuances, albeit with a Gallic lilt. All of the references - literary, musical - are note - perfect and done with excellent taste. But - (Tl;dr) - all this really proves is that French Middlebrow Culture is closer to Highbrow Culture than American Middlebrow Culture is.
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2/10 why ? 1 for the cat and 1 for the mountains
pastapenne-3950228 October 2017
To all those people who voted it 5 star plus, folks, ..lets not be pretentious.... any normal sane person would see how slow, pointless and boring the film is. The director put more emphasis on philosophy than the lead character. The mountain scenery and the pet cat were the only bright moments in the film
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Isabelle Huppert is a thing of beauty and a joy forever
Red-1255 February 2017
The French film L'avenir was shown in the U.S. with the title Things to Come (2016). It was written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve.

The movie stars Isabelle Huppert as Nathalie Chazeaux, a gifted philosophy professor and textbook author. She has an happy life, with a loving husband and two loving children. She has a burden as well--her mother suffers from dementia, and will soon have to be placed in a nursing home. In a matter of days, things start to turn sour for Nathalie, and that's where the plot begins.

The plot takes Nathalie from her beautiful home in Paris, to a vacation home in Brittany, to a rural farming commune. Each of these locations is beautifully photographed. Because of the wonderful scenery, the movie will work better on a large screen. (We saw it at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester, NY.) Still, it's such a superb film, that if you can't see it in a theater, see it on the small screen.

All the supporting actors do a good job, and each is believable. However, all of them could be interchanged with other actors who have same level of ability. No one could replace Huppert. She is so talented, intelligent, attractive, and graceful that she was made to play this role. Without her, the movie might not work. With her, it's masterful. This film is too good to miss!

P.S. The only other actor to match Huppert's level of talent and grace is Pandora, the cat. Pandora is old, and she has been pampered, but when she needs to catch a mouse, she catches a mouse.
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Things To Come - The Future
krocheav28 March 2019
'L'Avenir' (The Future) is something of a rarity as today's movies go and all the better for it. Had I known it was written and directed by Mia Hanson-Love I might have decided to stay well away - after being disappointed by the 2011 'Goodbye First Love'. But, with this surprisingly mature work she has taken her own family experiences and crafted a story so filled with thoughtful observations the viewer feels more like a voyeur - within the unfolding lives of these very real characters. I kept expecting the now common clichés to start unfolding i.e.; lonely deserted wife seeks solace in a carnal relationship - but surprisingly and pleasingly, all superficial TV and cinema modernisms are avoided in preference to intelligent character study.

Being raised in a home with two philosophy teachers as parents, Mia Hansson- Love uses in-depth philosophy to examine her central theme/s. Nathalie, her main character, illustrates strong points by telling her family, acquaintances, and students, that in her youth she had been surrounded by Stalinists but, she read Solzhenitsyn (who exposed many vague notions about the 'idealism' of the USSR!). Without labouring her points, she invites her students and anarchist friends to think for themselves, even lifting a veil against the trendy leanings of Post Modernism. She freely quotes the philosophies of Rousseau and Gunther Anders (might any of this had an influence on the avoidance of sensationalised clichés within the intelligence level of Love's script...I wonder?) With succinct statements Nathalie invites them to recognise the positive points of right and wrong with an open mind. This is a woman grounded in pure realism - even though, beyond her control, some elements that have constituted her world till now are beginning to alter.

If I may have questioned anything it could have been the resolve with which she accepts some of her situations - she says to her husband and the father of her children; "I thought you would love me forever" - then simply, without even questioning his leaving her, goes along with it. This could be the reaction of someone who was expecting the situation, but to one who thought all was well....I'm not so sure. Nathalie is superbly played by Isabelle Huppert and supported by a well chosen cast who, take us on a slice-of-life journey that's reminiscent of some of Bergman's better works - examining the intimate challenges that life brings into most all our paths - without trivializing or cheapening the experience. The careful selection & use of music is evident (as with earlier works) adding to the soundly grounded profundity of this enlightening cinematic achievement. The fluid imagery of prolific cinematographer Denis Lenoir (Still Alice '14) is not always suited to subtitled topics but one imagines the budget and subject would have dictated this style - so, some may find viewing and reading could need a little extra concentration at times. Still, the rewards are well worth any efforts necessary to stay with this strong and satisfying work.
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Things must come
Jithindurden25 February 2018
Things to Come< is what makes each person's life move on, but it's only when everything happens differently from what was expected it really becomes life.
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Oh la la french cinema
axapvov3 February 2018
As Claude Chabrol said, "Isabelle Huppert makes her own films, the director and everybody else are just there to help". This one is perfectly suited for her restrained style. A woman´s life is changing considerably and she carries on. Simple enough but oh there´s so much more to it. This realistic story-telling makes a short scene of her tearing up in the car more effective than a full house melodrama. A serious, intelligent film with poignant reflections on maturity, idealism and more. The realism holds its logic all the way until the ending.

For someone used to french cinema it isn´t that outstanding but it´s such a serious piece of film-making it stands out among the rest. In my opinion the last section could have been trimmed and I have a couple of petty complaints but overall it´s still a compelling film. A pleasant drama that should easily satisfy anyone who knows what they´re getting into.
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very french
SnoopyStyle27 January 2018
Nathalie Chazeaux (Isabelle Huppert) is a philosophy professor although a student strike is challenging the faculty. She is married but her husband reveals his cheating. Worst yet, he has to tell her as he moves out of the house. Her kids are moving on. Her disturbed mother keeps pulling her into her life. Her former student reconnects with her. As each part of her life is severed, she finds life in her new freedom.

This is very french especially how Nathalie reacts to her husband's revelation. It doesn't have to be melodramatic but I would like for more drama. The danger is never that high although there is surely some emotional dangers. Huppert's classy acting keeps the movie compelling. I would like to have her disconnecting happen in the first half hour. Instead, it's dragged over an hour and there isn't enough time for her to find herself. It's the shortest of freedom rides. It's understated. I prefer something more dramatic.
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