Probably more than any other country, French cinema has a proud history of creating strong leading roles for female actors. Whilst traditionally fascinated with younger actresses it doesn’t forget them as they get older. The likes of Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert are still given the roles their abilities deserve and seem to only improve with age. The latter simply sparkles in Mia Hansen-Løve’s new film Things To Come.
Nathalie (Huppert) is a philosophy professor whose life seems to pass in an effortlessly satisfactory and happy daze of work, friends and family life. This comes to an abrupt halt when her husband (André Marcon) of 25 years calmly announced that he’s leaving her. She is drawn toward Fabien (Roman Kolinka), a former student and now a writer in his own right. As Nathalie spends more time with him and his friends she realises that their revolutionary spark and appetite is no longer alive in her.
Things to Come is Mia Hansen-Løve’s best film so far. Whilst Nathalie oscillates between enjoying her new found freedom and questioning her choices in life, there’s a whiff of sadness which she can never quite escape. Huppert is simply magnificent and radiates confidence. It’s a philosophical and emotional treatise about how youthful fervour can slowly cool into a settled life, masterfully avoiding any hint of nostalgia. Things to Come is an intelligent emotional drama with great dialogue and superb acting.
Things To Come is out in cinemas on Friday.