Mia Hansen-Love

Best films:
, /10

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)

Eden (2014)

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 commune. 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 authorship. 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.
(Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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