Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
9th – 15th September 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
It might help if you are a great admirer of philosophy and its writers to fully appreciate this film. Nevertheless even though at one time I was going to take a degree in the subject I found the inclusion of so-called great thinkers throughout the film a mite tiresome. The film could only have been made by the French!
Imagine if you will Isabelle Huppert, playing Nathalie Chazeaux, an aged philosophy lecturer, visiting a middle-class commune deep in the French countryside, following the break-up of her marriage, settling down on a sunbaked field to intensely read a book of philosophy while the other occupiers of the building are goofing and frolicking around and enjoying themselves. Little wonder her husband Heinz (Andre Marcon) left her for another woman!
It was not only this scene but on other occasions in the film when I found it difficult to empathise with her. The character is far too serious. Loosen up Nathalie…
A number of times the dialogue is devoted to discussions on Rousseau and other renowned great thinkers as well as various philosophical manifestos. Dry in the extreme.
It got to the point that the only real company in her solitary life is an overweight cat called Pandora, once owned by her recently deceased mother. Given the animal’s name it seemed appropriate that she put her into a box whenever she took her on her travels.
The closing scene is pure kitsch, straight out of a mediocre soap opera, not in keeping with the pseudo heavy subject matters previously put forward in Things To Come.
This is the sixth film directed by Mia Hansen-Love, with all of them being based on her life. I hope her next one is a wee bit more life-affirming.