Johnny Ma's Old Stone is an angry film, a sociopolitical commentary on the lack of shared empathy in modern China. Scornful towards legal manipulation-fueled bureaucracy which sees a kind-hearted man's life slowly unravel, Old Stone follows Lao Shi, a taxi driver who accidently strikes a pedestrian after an inebriated passenger forces his hand. Opting to save the life of this man instead of waiting for cops to arrive, Lao Shi soon finds himself in a predicament when the insurance company won't cover any of the hospital bills due to him not following company procedure. A film grounded in gritty realism for most of its running time, Johnny Ma's Old Stone is a grating piece of filmmaking, slowly wearing down its central protagonist, Lao Shi, a man who simply wanted to do the right thing. The cost of simply being morally-just becomes so high, with Lao Shi being cheated, now jeopardizing his own' families well-being. One subtle character moment that really gives this character weight comes early in the film, with Lao Chi showing reluctance to even tell his wife about the incident, protective of both her and his daughter's well-being. The silence and calm demeanor of Gang Chen's quiet but devastating performance exhibits a man in a constant state of contemplation, haunted by the situation he finds himself in, where the only way out seems to be through being morally unjust himself. A film that feels like a character study due to its empathetic characterization, Old Stone paints a portrait of a man who is surrounded by individuals who simply don't have the same moral drive, intent on looking out for themselves over all else. There is no grandoise selfish acts in this narrative, only quiet decisions which sees nearly everyone around Lao Shi looking out for their own interests first. HIs own family doesn't want to be dragged down by this potential financial burden, leaving Lao Chi in a place of utter solitude, only having himself to confide in and the hope that empathy and morality of others will eventually shine through. The weight of the world feels thrusted onto Lao Shi towards the end of the film, with the filmmakers' interjecting more expressionistic cinematic techniques, delivering a finale that is a stunning damnation of a system that doesn't place the value of life high enough. Towards the end of the film, Old Stone becomes much more of a thriller, with the quiet introspective moments manifesting a brooding sense of unease. The viewer is left in a state in which they can't help but feel like things are not going to end well for Lao Shi, forced to watch this tragedy unfold in real time. The finale of Old Stone is perhaps best described as a beautiful tragedy, as Lao Chi finds himself freed in a sense from this burden, with his family being taken care of, but at a cost which is simply too high to bare. Some may find the final sequence to be excessive, especially when compared to what comes before it, but it emphatically expresses the film's intentions, doing so in a poetic, yet angry way. A film with a quiet, brooding sense of unease, Johnny Ma's Old Stone is a powerful tale of shakesperian proportions, finding a kind, empathetic man slowly run down by a system which indirectly punishes him for doing what is morally just.
An ode to the city of angels, Damien Chazelle's La La Land is rapturous love story centered around a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, each of which have big dreams under the bright lights of Los Angeles. Extravagant, grandoise, and playful, La La Land is a throwback to the beloved musicals of the past, featuring a bright and vivid color palette, lavish production design, and an exaggerrated sense of reality, assured in its flamboyance in a way that elicits the inner-emotions of its characters. How Los Angeles is this film you may ask? Well, the film's lavish opening musical number is set on a congested freeway, an opening sequence which announces the arrival of its playful tone and whimsical nature, exhibiting the sense of hopefulness this city can bring out in everyone when it's at its best. The romance between Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a jazz musician, mostly works due to the strong chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, but where the film really stood out for me is its deconstruction of creativity, dreams, and personal ambition, being an honest film about the hidden conflict these traits can have with the search for connection, companionship, and love. La La Land's brand of melancholy is rooted in the conflict between personal ambition and uncompromising love, a film that celebrates the promise but also the pain associated with a town such as Los Angeles, where dreams are dashed far more often than they are fulfilled. The strain which such dedication to one's craft can put on a relationship is especially felt throughout La La Land, as the film wonderfully taps into the intrinsic personal nature of art and creativity, exhibiting the unescaple conflict which exists between the desire to express oneself with the world and the shared compassion and selfishlessness that goes into any truly fruitful relationship. Art is selfish in nature, at least at first, and La La Land remains more honest than I was expecting about this inherent conflict between two individuals in Mia and Sebastian, being a film that is uplifting in its abiilty to capture the absolute bravery it takes for one to pursue their passion's in life, constantly fighting the fear of failure and the trauma and uncertainty which comes with it. Due to the film's dedication to being honest about art, creativity, and personal dreams, La La Land's love story beautifully elicits the inherent sacrifice and compromise associated with companionship, being a film which showcases the selflessness needed to truly find fulfillment in a relationship, tapping into the fundamental nature of what it means to be loved. In the end, La La Land is a film that is sure to subvert the expectations of some viewers, but what Damien Chazelle has crafted is an honest portrait of the unpaven roads of life, a whimisical, meloncholy story that is draped in optimism yet authentic about the sacrifices and struggles which take place when one pursues their passions in life.
A nihilistic portrait of a modern times in a small town in the Czech Republic, Petr Vaclav's We Are Never Alone is a story of quiet desperation, sadness, and the inevitable rage which festers in such sorrow, detailing the intersecting lives of a set of hopeless characters, each of which unfortuantely warrants little empathy from the audience. A narrative designed to present a social cross-section of contemporary life in the Czech Republic, We are Never Alone exhibits a stark, unrelenting portrait in which none of these characters even have a glimpse of hope or happiness in their lives, making them hard to empathize with due to the film's over stacked deck of misery and despair. The film lacks any real moments of levity throughout its misery-soaked narrative, with only the smallest glimpses of pitch-black humor offering the audience a break from the unbearable dispair of these characters. The driving force behind the narrative is centered around the relationship which forms between a paranoid prison guard and his neighbor, an unemployed hypochondriac who is completely supported and cared for by his wife. These two men drive the narrative down its death spiral of despair, with their quiet desperation and angst-driven antics leading to pain and misery for nearly everyone around them, including their own families. The tranference of emotion - pain, misery, despair; is felt throughout We Are Never Alone, with perhaps the film's best attribute being its ability to encapture the shared experience that is life, exhibiting how we are all connected to each other in one way or another, while the film darkly and painfully presents the general and inherent selfishness of humanity. Much of this tranference ideal is created through the film's documentation of the Hypochondriac's two young sons, each of which suffer cruel fates in this narrative due in large part to indirect sin's of their father, with each young man in a place of solitude, having no true fundamental understanding of morality, empathy, or how actions have far reaching consequences, all ideas which one should develop through guidance, love, and affection. We Are Never Alone dabbles in a lot of socio-political commentary but it never congeals, with the film at times feeling far too complacent in its desire to wallow in the despair of its characters. The intersecting lives of these characters touch on various socio-political aspects of society, from the uniformaly poor treatment of woman to multiculturalism and the simmering racial tensions which tend to go with it, yet these ideas never fully come to fruition, feeling much more like disjointed vignettes thats only cohesive quality is a shared atmosphere of hopelessness, pain, and alienation. Haphazardly shifting the aesthetic back-and-forth between black-and-white cinematography and color cinematography is a puzzling decision by Petr Vaclav thats purpose eludes me, yet the film's composition is well-thought out and designed, featuring claustrophobic photography that perfectly aligns with the film's overall tone, one of alienation, misery, and despondency. A misery-soaked tale which offers very few moments of levity, Petr Vaclav's We Are Never Alone is a dark and depressing film about pain and misery, being a film that unfortunately never ahcieves the emotional effect it is seeking due to the film's one-note, brooding atmosphere of despair.
Nicolas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is a minimalist descent into horror, a film which relies heavily on its transgressive horror qualities to create its chills and shocking circumstances, unfortunately struggling to elevate itself into something more, settling for a diaboloical yarn of subversive horror. Set on a secluded farmhouse, The Eyes of My Mother focuses on Francisca, a young woman, who is raised in an unconventioal way by her mother, a former surgeon in Portural. Learning about anatomy, Francisca is a young girl who grows up unfazed by death due to her mother's peculiar teachings, but when a mysterious stranger enters into her life, shattering the peaceful existence of Francisca's uprbringing, it deeply traumaticizes the Francisca psychologically, awakening dark curiorisities inside her. With her father approaching death, Francisca becomes increasingly lonely and eradic, with her unconventional upbringing and scarred past merging with her isolation and solitude to create a woman whose infaturation with the inner-workings of the human body only leads to chaos and death. Nicholas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is best described as a subversive tale of loneliness, a film which desperately tries to create a character in Francisca who is empathetic to the audience, a tough task given the woman's heinous acts she commits throughout the film. The Eyes of My Mother wishes to show how Francesca is a victim of her environment, a young woman who has grown to associate violence and death with pleasure and companionship, with her absolute isolation only stroking the flames of her seering loneliness. Her total lack of understanding when it comes to human empathy and the construct of morality lead her to take part in some truly heinous acts of bloodshed, fueled by her desire to have someone else to share her life with, whether it be a companion or a young child she can look after. The film doesn't quite earn the twisted psychological state of this character it is going for, with her heinous acts and intentions feeling inorganic, simply there to provide further shock value and squemish moments for the audience, even when considering the horrible tragedy involving her mother's brutal murder that unquestionably sent her down this path of pain, solitude, and inevitably darkness. Featuring beautiful and crisp black and white cinematography, Nicholas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is a stark, subversive descent into horror and madness, a film that isn't nearly as intelligent or introspective as it aims to be, while delivering some diabolically, transgressive forms of horror filmmaking.
Pablo Larrain's Jackie is not so much a biopic, but a tone poem of pain, loss, grief, and legacy, delivering a emotionally exhausting look at the first lady in the days directly following the death of her husband, the president of the free world. Searing and intimate, Pablo Larrain's film attempts to examine the psychological effect which loss has on the individual, detailing the emotional anguish of a woman whose life is turned upside down, with her own personal loss, one that is greater and more deeply felt, being constantly at odds with the loss felt by a nation. Juxtaposing the decadence of the presidency, the grandoise spaces of the white house, with the dreary, cold exteriors of D.C. in wintertime, Pablo Larrain's film visually evokes the internal conflict of Jackie, a woman who is growing increasingly wary of her husband's legacy, second-guessing her own decisions and how they themselves will help shape how her husband is remembered. The psychological effect of such loss is explored through Jackie's struggles, with Larrain's film profoundly capturing the inherent cruelty which time has on rememberance, as Jackie begins to grow wary of the forces around her, intent on making sure the man she loved is remembered for what he was, a good man who did what he believed was right. While the film's brooding emotions can become quite labarous, I'd argue that is almost the point of Jackie, with the film pulling very little punches when it comes to capturing the troubled psychology of trauma. The guilt, second-guessing, and protective nature of Jackie combine to create a moody atmosphere, with Larrain's film bordering on psychological horror film at times, detailing a woman who constantly struggles internally, questioning herself at nearly every turn. The weight of a nation on her shoulders, Jackie's own internal grief is essentially co-opted by the nation and everyone around her, with perhaps the film's greatest achievement being how it contrasts this national tragedy, with the deeply personal pain which Jackie herself feels. Portman's ability to balance the emotions of such a character is what makes her performance so compelling, crafting a portrait of a woman whose fragility and pain is constantly in conflict with her desire to defend her husband's legacy, protective against the larger forces around her who simply need to move forward. It isn't that these forces are toxic or evil in nature, but from the perspective of Jackie, who has first and foremost lost her husband and father of her two kids, she sees them as lacking personal empathy towards the man and his life, placing Jackie in a place of utter emotional solitude, being one of the only people who viewed him as a person first, president second. Taking one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, the Assassination of JFK, Pablo Larrain has crafted a deeply intimate study of loss, grief, and legacy, a film which questions very nature of rememberance, examining the wide array of emotions experienced by a woman whose personal loss is mimicked by that of an entire nation.
Larry Fessenden's Wendigo is shining example of effective low-budget filmmaking, a film which relies heavily on mood and ambiguity to create a sense of foreboding menace. Never relying on cheap thrills or shock horror to tell its quietly, brooding tale, Wendigo is a film where atmosphere and ingenuity are at a premium, effectively covering up the film's shoe-string budget due to the sense of foreboding doom the film is able to create. The story itself is one of George, a high-strung Manhattan urbanite, who along with his family has decided to head to upstate New York in an attempt to find some peace and quiet. On the way to their secluded cabin, George accidentally strikes and severely injures a deer, leading to a less than ideal encounter with a group of locals. Otis, one of these local men, is beyond furious at George, exclaiming that they've been tracking this deer for sometime. A verbal confrontation breaks out, luckily never escalating beyond words, but there is no question that the bizarre, hostile encounter has left not only George, but also his son, Miles shaken by the contentious encounter. From this point on, the family begins to find themselves haunted by some form of dark, mysterious presence, with Fessenden continually blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, making it impossible to tell if the threat to the families' safety lies mostly in the supernatural, or very much in reality, with the contentious local Otis. In Wendigo, Fessenden's narrative oscillates between its yuppie thriller narrative-the urbanite fish out of water tale, and its supernatural story-the spirit of the Wendigo, yet for most of the running time it remains unclear how much, if any of this, is psychological these characters, specifically the young boy who may be seeing things due to the trauma manifesting from the earlier confrontation between this father and Otis. Nothing is particularly clear in this way, and that's the way which Fessenden likes it, creating an atmospheric horror film in which the young son Miles provides the primary point of view. Larry Fessenden practically invented the book on effective, low-budget horror filmmaking, a filmmaker that routinely uses ingenuity, creativity, and effective use of camera movements, editing, and sound design to create an experience. In Wendigo, Fessenden uses an unsettling mix of time-lapse photography, quick-twitching montage, and slow-crawling photography, to create an atmosphere of menace, with the film's ambiguity adding an extra layer of unease. Thematically, Wendigo plays with this idea of the old vs. the new, touching on the intellectually imperialistic nature of modern thought where spirit and supernatural are viewed as simply fodder, something which is brushed off as creative imagination. The film juxtaposes this theme with the conflicting forces of urban and rural individuals, a film that itself remains vague as to what exactly transpired in its running time. A shining example of effective, low-budget storytelling, Larry Fessenden's Wendigo is a brooding, horror experience, a film which provides absolutely no cheap, shock horror, instead focusing on creating an effective atmosphere of brooding suspense.
Set in 1951, James Schamus' Indignation tells the complex and ultimately quite tragic story of Marcus Messner, the son of a small kosher butcher from Newark, N.J. A highly intelligent man near the top of his class, Marcus is one of the lucky ones, able to avoid the Korean War draft due to him starting at college in the upcoming weeks. Leaving Newark to study at a small, conservative college in Ohio, Marcus soon finds himself confronted for his rather unique beliefs, specifically for the time period, struggling to deal with both his sexual repression related to growing up in a conservative Jewish household, as well as his cultural disaffection related to him being an atheist at a time in America where it was simply put, quite rare. James Schamus' Indignation is a well-crafted piece of filmmaking which manages to cleverly navigate the token structure for these types of stories, being a film manages to be a powerful testament to the restrictive, anti-freedom based principles of social conservatism, while simultaneously delivering a unique, and mature coming-of-age story about a young man attempting to understand himself, struggling with issues related to love, sex, and independence. The storytelling and structure of Indignation is nothing singular or even particularly unique, yet the screenplay remains clever, playing in the space of this type of story, with one example being how the film is deceptive about Marcus' atheist beliefs early on, implying to the viewer that he himself is Jewish. One thing that really stood out to me about Indignation is how spirituality is not presented solely as a religious concept, with Marcus' existential lamentations about fate and the nature of the universe being concepts very similar to those shared by any organized religion, with the only true difference being Marcus' inability to never surrender his free will as a scholar and intellectual thinker. Indignation evokes an environment in which religious freedom doesn't apply to atheist individuals, expressing how the very treatment in which Marcus receives from the Dean of Students at the university is in reality a contraction on the very ideals which America was founded on, though I'm not so sure the film's writer actually realizes that. While Logan Lerman carries his weight, it's Sarah Goden performance as Olivia, his love interest, which is one of the true highlights of the film, a performance that manages to capture the fragility and schizophrenic nature of a such a damaged character. This is a woman who is unquestionably coming from shattered household, a character who suffers from some form of undisclosed mental illness. She has experienced more hardship and seen more of the world outside of the confines of Marcus' upbringing in Newark, a character who manages to be less naive but also more cynical about the truths of the world. The romance which unfolds between these two characters doesn't feel completely earned throughout the narrative but it's hard not to be compelled by these characters and this mature, muddy love-story between two characters who at times feel like they only have each other. While subtle in its style, Indignation is a well-crafted piece of filmmaking, a film that picks its moments overall but uses composition throughout to evoke the isolation of its two main characters, particularly when they are apart. One of my favorite shots of the film takes place when Marcus enters the Dean's office for the first time of the film, a perfectly symmetrical composition, which Marcus obscures by sitting down at a chair that isn't in the center of the frame. While it's a single composition, I'm not sure there is a better visual sequence in the entire film, with Indignation visualizing the defiant nature of Markus, a man who will not conform to something he simply doesn't believe in. Indignation references both the work of Bertrand Russell and a quote from Ben Franklin, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting what to have for lunch", two men who couldn't share much more diverse political beliefs related to government. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but the film paints a rather vivid example of the debate between decentralized vs. centralized government, capturing how democracy itself is important but can still lead to very oppressive cultural forces. Some will scoff at this, all three of you who read this review, but one could argue that this film is steeped in libertarian ideology, being a film that touches on the horrors of interventionism while profiling a man in Marcus who feels restrained by a society in which he does not share the same social perspective as the masses. Without question, James Schamus' Indignation is a film which is heavily critical of 1950s conservatism, specifically related to the religious right, revealing how morality is not a practice that is confined to those who are religious, being a film that not only touches on sexual repression and cultural repression, but also the disgraceful treatment of mental illness which took place during the time.
Based on a graphic novel about a police officer who can't die, routinely being killed and resurrected on a nightly basis so he can return to the streets crime-infested streets, Shawn Crahan's Officer Downe provides a gleeful walk through depravity, embracing its absurdity and its comic book roots. Playful in its repugnant, testosterone-fueled aggression, Officer Downe is not a film that will be enjoyed by the faint of heart, a perverse film in nearly every way which in the end struggles to sustain its 90-minute running time. Officer Downe is a film that wastes no time establishing the type of film it wants to be, with the opening five minutes featuring a salacious yet hysterical sex sequences, a scene of violence-inducing ass-kickery by our main protagonist, and an opening monologue which is reminiscent of Taxi Driver's iconic monologue about "the filth on the the streets". Unfortunately the film isn't able to sustain its absurdity and gleeful perversity, with its hyper-activity slowly eroding, buckling under the weight of a narrative and story that truly has very little to say. The morality of the story, centered around a rookie police officer who questioned the psychological freedom of Officer Downe, never fully develops, playfully dancing around the idea but never giving Officer Downe any real characterization besides his robotic, masculine-fueled aggression. We as an audience are told he is human deep down who has his own personal head-space but we are never shown it, making it hard to care about the film's driving story centered around the morality of the situation. It's basically a more absurd version of Robocop, but we never are shown the oppressive nature on this man's psyche making Officer Downe a film that is enjoyable for its absurdity but muddled down when it tries to be something more. Having such villains as a Killer Nun-Syndicate whose primary weapon is indoctrination, as well as a crime syndicate that goes by the name 'The Fortune 500', Office Downe also oddly and hilariously dances around a social commentary that unfortunately never develops, content on being strange and subversive more than making any type of social assertion, which I suppose one could argue isn't necessarily a bad thing. Shawn Crahan's Officer Down can be highly enjoyable at times, offering a creative, subversive bit of juvenile escapism, but unfortunately it struggles to maintain its momentum, being a film that never manages to be anything more than a relatively fun empty distraction.
Achim Bornhak's The Nightmare is a visual and auditory assault on the senses, a film that oscillates between horror film and adolescent drama, never revealing its true intentions to the viewer, opting instead to let its immersive, disorienting experience wash over the viewer, leaving its true intentions up to interpretation. Centered around Tina, a young teenage girl, The Nightmare chronicles a woman who spends a lot of her time trying to fit in, whether it be going to extravagant parties with her friends or attempting to draw the eye of Adam, a boy she seems to have interest in. After a long night of partying, Tina begins to experience strange happenings and discomforting sounds, soon beginning to suspect she is being haunted by a mysterious creature, one which she can only see. The clubbing lifestyle, one full of mind-alternating substances, is the perfect introduction to Tina, setting up a film early on which makes it completely impossible to decipher reality from Tina's own imagination. Beguiling and enigmatic in approach, Achim Bornhak's The Nightmare is a film intent on deconstructing the psychological nature of adolescent life, detailing in Tina a character who feels alienated by those around her, with her insecurities manifesting themselves in the form of this mysterious creature. While not didactic in the slightest, The Nightmare methodically reveals a character in Tina who is a bit of a loner, one who has succumbed to the pressures of adolescence in which fitting in is paramount and being an independent presence is particularly frowned upon. Nearly all of Tina's interactions with this creature in one way or another are symbolic representations of adolescence-fueled struggles, whether it be late night binge eating, self-harming, or peer-pressure induced decision-making, the interactions between Tina and this mysterious creature continually evoke aspects of Tina's internal alienation, insecurities, and struggle to fit in. While certainly up to interpretation, the finale, in which Tina shows off her newfound, mysterious friend to her school friends with Pride is a perfect conclusion to a strange, beguiling experience, a sequence which in itself seems to suggest that Tina has conquered her own insecurities, proud of her imperfections, with the mysterious creature representing all of her imperfections and insecurities that left her in a state of alienation, with her now showing them off, as if to symbolize her independence to the world. Featuring a bombastic, electronica soundtrack, and heavy use of handheld photography, which gives the whole film a more chaotic, lived-in feeling, The Nightmare is a film which invites the viewer to enjoy its strange, beguiling ride, being a film that manages to remain enigmatic while simultaneously touching deep-seeded aspects related to the pain, alienation, and self-inflicted pain which make up the tough road of adolescence.
Mia Hansen-Love's Things to Come is a mature, thoughtful, and uplifting character study of Nathalie, a passionate woman and student/teacher of philosophy, who reveals in the pleasures of critical thinking and the vast treasture trove of gifts it supplies to not only her high school students but her own family and life. Married with two children, who themselves are approaching adulthood, Nathalie's life is quite hectic between time dedicated not only to her family, but also her former/current students, as well has her possessive mother, who herself suffers from some form of mental instability. One fateful day, Nathalie learns that her husband is leaving her for another woman, a decision that thrusts this middle-aged woman into a new state of freedom and the unknown, an act that forces Nathalie to reinvent herself yet again, with this newfound sense of freedom she had long lost. A film detailing the middle life crisis of a woman in Nathalie, Mia Hansen-Love's Things To Come isn't a film that reinvents the wheel when it comes to intricate characterizations of longing, control, or independence, but it does introduce a host of interesting observations about humanities penchant/desire for attempting to understand and grasp the great complexities that make up humanity and life itself. Things To Come an uplifting character study, a film that is quietly profound in its examination of humanities penchant for control and understanding, detailing a character in Nathalie herself who has always felt in control of the world she inhabits, gaining such rich contexual understanding of humanity, society, and life through analysis of text and historical analysis. In this setting of her life, one in which she cares for a husband, two children, and an ailing mother, Nathalie is in complete control, but when her husband shocks her with the revelation that he is leaving her for another woman, Nathalie is thrown into a state of minimalistic disarray, unable to control her emotions centered around the idea that her life and everything she knows is slowly unraveling in front of her very eyes. Nathalie's treatment in this story is never overly dramatic or overwrought, yet Mia Hansen-Love's Things To Come captures the shift in this woman's temperament, becoming far more dramatic and hasteful after learning of her husband's deceit, with Isabelle Huppert's performance giving off a quiet sense of panic in the calmer moments. Nathalie's truth in life has been shattered overnight by her husband's departure, a character who in a sense released from the domesticated pillars of her existence to find her new semblance of peace. She is a character who doesn't even realize how much she relies on the systems in place in her own life, with this stark change to her life sending psychological shockwaves to her psyche, one which forces her to answer existential questions about her life. Things To Come in this sense exhibits the ever changing lexicon of an individual's personal truth, detailing in Nathalie a woman is through critical thinking is not beyond reproach, but simply an individual who needs time to reestablish her hopes, dreams, and desires in this world. She has lost control of the world in which she knows, slowly regained her personal independence, and in turn Things To Come beautifully deconstructs the difference between these two concepts, with control being a selfish-fueled initiative, while true independence is deeply personal. Nathalie's control over her circumstances, a well-structured life in which her familiy and relationships were known and structured, wasn't as freeing as she truly believed, being a character still very much a victim of her circumstances. While she got her intellectual curiosity and independence from her academic endeavors, her personal life never managed to supply such independence, being a character very much trapped by the control's of her life. It's through force, aka her husband pulling the plug of their relationship, that Nathalie begins to remember the true nature of her independence, one in which she is free to think and act for herself, free from her false sense of control, one which in the end leads her to a much happier place where her connections with both her children and ex-husband feel as if they will be better in the long run. Mia Hansen-Love's Things To Come is a mature and introspective examination of later adulthood, a film that is both honest and heartfelt about the nature of independence, personal freedom, control, and responsibility.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.