Monday, May 8, 2017

One of last year's best films hits Blu-ray/DVD: Mia Hansen Løve's THINGS TO COME

As if her fine performance in the very bizarre Elle wasn't enough for a single year, Isabelle Huppert appeared in yet another superb role in a much warmer movie last year. I'm only catching up with THINGS TO COME now, as it makes its DVD and Blu-ray debut this week. From writer/ director Mia Hansen Løve (shown below), the movie burnishes even brighter the career of both the actress and the filmmaker, the latter of whom has given us at least two other excellent movies: Father of My Children and Goodbye First Love. Løve's latest proves to be her best work yet: her most mature and thoughtful with nary a weak moment to be found.

In stark contrast to Elle, Huppert here plays a relatively normal woman -- a philosophy teacher who, in late middle age, finds herself suddenly confronting something she never expected. Things to Come is a family drama, but it's one that proceeds quietly and concisely in a manner that allows Huppert's character, Nathalie (below), to consider the events and people around her, just as a professor of philosophy might, and Løve lets us do the same. The movie unfurls at what seems exactly the correct pace so that we take it all in and mull it over and arrive at conclusions without ever feeling forced into anything.

If this sounds rather minor as praise, it is not. So often filmmakers stuff everything from their action to their ideas so firmly down our throats that it all seems overcooked and pre-digested. TrustMovies suspects that this sort of style is anathema to Ms Løve.

All her characters are offered up in this manner, from the special student Nathalie has coached along (Roman Kolinka, above) to her educator husband, Heinz (Andre Marcon, below, right) to her ailing mother (a lovely job from Edith Scob) and even the "helpers" who represent the current state of textbook publishing in the western world.

Løve lets you understand where all her characters are coming from; even if you don't approve of what they're doing, you can still appreciate their viewpoints. Holding all this together is Ms Huppert who, as usual, inhabits her character so fully that we can, too,

The actress takes the events that would be soap opera to so many performers, writers and directors and turns them into the most intimate and specific details of life experienced. Of course, that's what good acting is supposed to do. Watching Huppert, you realize that this is what separate good from great.

One of 2016's best films, there is not a false moment in this entire movie, so if you have not already discovered Things to Come, I would suggest you take advantage of its current home video release. (The Blu-ray transfer is especially lovely.) From Sundance Selects/IFC Films and running 102 minutes in French with English subtitles, it hits the street tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9 -- for purchase and/or rental.

No comments: