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The Globe and Mail

Things to Come sensitively explores the potential freedom of middle age

Isabelle Huppert stars in Things to Come.

Films We Like

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Things to Come
Written by
Mia Hansen-Love
Directed by
Mia Hansen-Love
Starring
Isabelle Huppert, Andre Marcon and Roman Kolinka
Genre
Drama
Classification
PG
Country
France/Germany
Language
English
Year
2016

The dedicated Paris high-school teacher Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), who instructs graduating students in the basics of philosophy, loses her depressive mother, her grumpy husband and her prestigious publishing contract – and yet, finds a certain freedom. In the place of all she is missing, there is always sexual tension but never romance with a much younger protégé (Roman Kolinka).

In the hands of director Mia Hansen-Love and the heart-stopping Huppert, Things to Come (L'Avenir) examines the inevitable losses and possible liberation of late middle age with impressive sensitivity and restraint. There is a certain Gallic pretension here – the major inconvenience of her divorce is that her husband leaves their shared bookshelves in disarray; his appropriation of one specific philosophy text with all her notes really rankles – but the delicacy and intelligence that the film brings to Nathalie's situation is always admirable.

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About the Author

Kate Taylor is lead film critic at the Globe and Mail and a columnist in the arts section. More

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