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.