Mia Hansen-Love (France, 1981)
Tout est Pardonne/ All is Forgiven (2008)
Le Pere de mes Enfants/ Father of My Children (2009)
Un Amour de Jeunesse/ Goodbye First Love (2011)
L'Avenir/ Things to Come (2016) is a psychological drama that feels
like a surgical strike, but
too many scenes are just fillers, especially the inevitable lunches/dinners
and cigarette smoking.
A family takes the ferry to visit the remote place where the write
Chateaubriand chose to be buried in solitude and peace.
The woman is scribbling a note about "the other".
Years later Nathalie is a philosophy professor at the university.
Her mother calls her in the middle of the night because she's having a panic attack.
In the morning Nathalie is confronted by students protesting against unemployment.
Then she receives the visit of her former student Fabien.
Then marketing people show her the revised look of her textbook, which seems too
commercial to her.
Her husband Heinz is also a professor of philosophy.
They have two children, Chloe and Johann, who don't live with them.
Invited to dinner, they are jealous of Fabien who is clearly their mother's favorite.
Heinz, instead, doesn't like him.
One day Chloe waits for her father in front of the university and then tells
him that she knows: he has a lover. Chloe and Johann want him to choose quickly.
Meanwhile, Nathalie has to deal with her mother's madness.
The old woman keeps
pretending to commit suicide and calling the firemen.
Nathalie is teaching a class on truth in a park when her mother calls her
saying that she turned on the gas.
After 25 years of marriage her husband decides to leave her and move in with
his lover. Nathalie is not particularly shocked, just surprised.
She then disposes of her mother in a nursing home.
Fabien tells her that he is moving out of the city to start a commune with
some anarchists in the countryside and make cheese, but also write books.
She tells Fabien that she is only going to miss the vacations at the beach
where she saw her children grow up. Her husband has a house there, where she
carefully tended to the garden, and she goes to pack her things.
The relationship with her husband remains eerily cordial.
Nathalie has to rush back to the city because her mother refuses to eat.
(We see her journey to the station and to the nursing home without hearing the
sounds, hearing only a loud German lied).
The mother is losing her memory (can't remember the name of Nathalie's husband,
and doesn't recognize the president of France on television).
Nathalie goes to a movie theater to watch Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy",
a film about truth, and a man starts touching her. When she walks out, having
missed the ending, he kisses her but she repels him. The phone rings: her
mother fell and died. Nathalie decides to pay for a church funeral that is
completely fake. On the way home, while she is crying in a bus, she sees
her husband with his much younger lover.
More bad news come from the publisher: they decided that her textbook is too
old-fashioned and don't want to renew the contract.
She takes it stoichally, hardly upset. At home she finds that her husband has
raided her library and taken some of her favorite books. She packs her things,
as well as her mother's cat Pandora, and takes the train to visit Fabien's
They drive to the farm listening to Woody Guthrie. She realizes that for the
first time in her life she has absolute freedom: her mother died, her children
left, her husband abandoned her. The cat escapes. She feel estranged among the
international crowd of the commune when they eat outside and discuss
The cat comes back filthy but with a mouse in its mouth.
After witnessing the young people play in the river, Nathalie cries curled against her cat and then finds an excuse to return to the city.
Her daughter has a baby and Nathalie becomes a granma.
Nathalie visits Fabien in winter and leaves him the cat.
Fabien now has a permanent companion.
She returns home more lonely than ever, but her children join her for a
Christmas dinner without father.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
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