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With Jim Sabatini

Things to Come

Things to Come
Isabelle Huppert and Roman Kolinka

Rated: PG-13 for brief language and drug use.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: December 2, 2016 Released by: IFC Films

Another stellar French import featuring an estimable Isabelle Huppert has her deglamorized character asserting herself differently than in the twisty, erotic Elle which should draw less rancorous reactions than her concurrent teaming with the risk-taking Paul Verhoeven (Black Book).

Things To Come (fully subtitled) maintains a droll disposition in spite of crucibles of the personal and professional variety for Huppert's middle-aged philosophy professor and author Nathalie.

What might annoy some onlookers is aspects of the production of the visual and sound design when it comes to everyday life appearing in and out of the frame, but it's clear that writer/director Mia Hansen-Love has a way with Huppert to let her explore Nathalie inside out. From a deadbeat husband she faces divorce and a hazy horizon with a grandchild on the way.

Through this kind of duress dealt with many like Nathalie, emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual aspects of her life are palpable as her spirit wavers but remains steadfast (maybe akin to her mischievous Michelle in Elle). The drama unfolds organically in placidly rendered stages for someone resigned to the erudite having to get on with the reality of moving forward.

Under the smooth, sensibly personal strokes of Hansen-Love, nothing tragic or maudlin riles what includes progressive tenets for Huppert to manifest the feelings given the context of conflict and challenges awaiting and experienced by Nathalie who also has to deal with a melodramatic, needful mother.

Amid the milieu of academia there is a range of articulation where there is solace in the form of a former student Fabien, an upstanding Roman Kolinka who invites Nathalie into a cooperative. Also, a sweet black cat in Pandora figures in Nathalie's way of coping; part of a richer understanding of a woman allergic to the creatures whom she knows little about. Things To Come is a rare example of auteur and thespian combining their talents with graceful precision to deliver emotional dividends for discerning, patient cineastes.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Things to Come        B+                     B+ 

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