Perth Festival’s second season of international films starts on 13 February.
A second release allows time for programmer Tom Vincent to show films that have just been completed, and one of the best of these is French drama Things to Come.
Director Mia Hansen-Love (Father of my Children, Goodbye First Love, and Eden) wrote the role of Nathalie with Isabelle Huppert (arguably one of the world’s greatest actors) in mind.
Nathalie is a sophisticated Parisian philosophy teacher, and published author. She enjoys her job at a high school and her predictable settled family which includes her fellow teacher husband Heinz (Andre Marcon), her drama queen mother Yvette (wonderfully played by Edith Scob) who is developing dementia, and 2 children who are approaching adulthood.
Her life is interrupted by her husband for 25 years, when he comes home and announces that he is leaving her for another woman. She says “I thought you’d love me for ever” – but now single, independent and dignified in control of her feelings, she has to confront the unexpected changes to her life.
She enjoys a flirtatious relationship with Fabian (Roman Kolinka) a former student who invites her to stay at a farmhouse he shares with other young intellectual anarchists.
At 45 years of age, the suggestion she start an affair with a younger man is something that has no appeal – and the intellectual discussions around her make her feel that she has ‘been there and done that” when she was the age of these younger people.
Eventually, she is left on her own with an overweight black cat called Pandora to whom she is allergic. Then she loses her prestigious publisher who wants books published on philosophy more in line with market expectations.
But this is a calm and thoughtful woman who does not engage in self-pity. She is woman of substance who will get on with her life in a matter of fact manner with a mask of blankness hiding the emotion running underneath.
Hubbert must also be the busiest actor working today. She has had three films released in France this year, plus one short film – and she has five more in post-production! A very youthful 63-year-old, she has won many awards and is at the peak of her career.
Things to Come is deeply moving film, full of ideas that have relevance about the changes that life brings.
102 minutes. French language with English sub-titles.
Showing at UWA Somerville 13 – 19 February at 8 pm. ECU Joondalup Pines 21 – 26 February at 8 pm.
Watch the trailer…