An ascendant director of French cinema has paired up with one of the world's most celebrated actors, and the results offer up the "radical" notion that women's lives don't end after 40. Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is a dedicated and demanding teacher, wife and mother. She runs her relationships with the same rigour she brings to her study of philosophy. But when Nathalie's husband announces he's leaving her for another woman, the meticulously crafted structures on which her existence is founded begin to crumble. Truly on her own for the first time, except for a less-than-grateful cat, Nathalie is daunted by this new world—until she finds an unlikely friend in a former student, the radical young Communist Fabien (Roman Kolinka).
In the hands of another director and actor, this plot could easily have fallen prey to condescension, a lazy mockery of "women of a certain age." Instead, the film is infused with a generous patience. Huppert brings a quiet strength to the character of Nathalie, and Hansen-Løve films her tale with elegance and grace.
See also: ELLE, opening Fri, Jan 13, also starring Isabelle Huppert, directed by Paul Verhoeven.
“Convincing proof that Mia Hansen-Løve is one of the best filmmakers on the planet...Like the heartbroken teen girl in GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE or the aspiring DJ in EDEN who holds fast to his dream long after reality should have set in, Hansen-Løve’s latest (and most layered) protagonist is a strong person for whom change does not come naturally...[This] is perhaps her richest piece to date, a warm, funny and profoundly sensitive portrait of letting go and learning to make new memories.” —David Ehrlich, IndieWire “Beautiful… Hansen-Løve's gift is in presenting this vast internal journey with elegance and clarity, resisting the urge for scenery-chewing catharsis, and always examining just how much time operates as a force in our lives.” —Shelia O’Malley, RogerEbert.com “The superb French actress Isabelle Huppert has appeared in more than 100 films in a career that began a decade before writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve, who has made five, was even born. Yet their strong joint commitment to emotional truth above all else has produced the quietly wonderful THINGS TO COME, a film whose subtle satisfactions very much sneak up on you.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
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