Berlinale: Things to Come ( L’avenir )

Things to Come (L’avenir)

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
Starring Isabelle Huppert and Roman Kolinka

by Joanna Orland

Mia Hansen-Løve was awarded the Berlinale 2016 Silver Bear Award for directing Things to Come (L’avenir), the story of an older woman who must start her life anew.  A philosophical approach to the plight of the modern aging woman, Things to Come uses subtlety and grace in its depiction, with Isabelle Huppert’s beautiful and vulnerable performance as the heart and soul of this film.

Nathalie must deal with the lack of relevance so many aging woman are socially confronted with as the years pass.  Her husband leaves her, her career is unraveling and her aged mother is at the end of her life.  She begins a friendship with her favourite former student Fabien (Kolinka), one which the audience suspects will turn to romance.  As for the idea that a woman would leave her husband for a younger man, Nathalie states that this only happens in the movies.

“I’m lucky to be fulfilled intellectually, that’s reason enough to be happy,” states Nathalie as she figures out what to do with her life after her 25 years of marriage have come to an end.  She ponders the idea of happiness, the meaning of life, what it is to age and what is yet to come for her in this life.  A pondering and humanist film, Things to Come never states any ideas boldly, but merely flows through this stage of Nathalie’s life.

One cannot be sure if happiness is a state of mind or if Nathalie can actually experience it.  Either way, this is a tender and moving story of Nathalie’s journey in finding fulfillment later in life.


Leave a Reply