Things to Come

Film, Drama
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Things to Come

Isabelle Huppert is a philosophy teacher whose life is unravelling in Mia Hansen-Løve’s deep and meaningful Paris-set drama

This delightful film from French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve (‘Eden’, ‘Goodbye First Love’) is her first built around a genuine star. Isabelle Huppert gives a typically intelligent and low-key performance as Nathalie, a Parisian philosophy teacher and writer who we meet at a point of personal and intellectual crisis. Her conservative school-teacher husband, Heinz (André Marcon), announces he’s leaving her for his mistress just as their two kids are growing up and fleeing the nest. Meanwhile, her flamboyant elderly mother (Edith Scob) is difficult and unwell. In Nathalie’s profession life, her publishing house has little use for her anymore and her favourite former student, brooding free spirit Fabien (Roman Kolinka), is retreating to an anarchist collective in the mountains.

‘Things to Come’ could hardly be more French if it declared itself a republic and took up the accordion. It’s steeped in the rhythms and talk of liberal bourgeois metropolitan family life and unfashionably unafraid of ideas – all set to the background of a truly lived-in near-contemporary Paris (Sarkozy is still President) with brief detours to Brittany and the foothills of the Alps. It echoes Hansen-Løve’s previous films in her delicate approach to the passing of time and her sensitivity towards life’s expectations and disappointments. She’s a filmmaker who tends to identify strongly with one lead character, drawing us closely into that person’s life and thoughts, and Huppert is more than up to the job, delivering a performance of quiet stoicism that masks rigorous thought and considerable inner turmoil. Cat lovers (and possibly fans of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’) will appreciate the role of an ageing black feline as a symbol of the sudden changes in Nathalie’s life. Everyone else should warm to the way that Hansen-Løve distils the chaos of life and the life of the mind into such a warm, thoughtful, surprising drama.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Release date:
Friday September 2 2016
100 mins

Cast and crew

Mia Hansen-Løve
Mia Hansen-Løve
Isabelle Huppert
André Marcon
Edith Scob

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Surprisingly moving and eccentric film, given that it uses quite a trite plot--a middle-aged woman, who teaches philosophy in a French high school, is dumped by her husband and has to re-evaluate her life and her career, especially as she is also caring for her mentally fragile mother. The film teases a relationship between Huppert's character and one of her much younger former students who is trying to live the good life on a commune he has set up (actually just a big country house with a garden). But the real relationship is between Huppert's assumptions about what her life was and what it really is. I did spend far too much time worrying about her mother's cat, whom Huppert's character drags around far too much on trains and in cars, but the cat actually fares better than her new owner. There is an honesty about this film that is hard to describe in words, and Huppert's amazingly natural performance is a joy to watch. 


Isabelle Huppert plays an author & a philosophy teacher who reaches a time of crisis in her family & working life. She needs to re-examine where she goes from here.Huppert plays her as a woman very much in control of her life, well able to relate to her students, but rather cold, and a little bit too intellectual.It seems like she may be coming to the end of her life as she knows it, but "there are things to come".I don't what to build up your expectations too much as the things to come are not that dramatic.

However the film is elegant (well it is French), it's engrossing, it's very satisfying, Isabelle Huppert gives an acting masterclass and I highly recommend it. 

This is a pretty good film but l fear many will regard it dull and lifeless (which it is not) Huppert is one of my favourites,in spite of her advanced age she still has those lovely elfin features that make her highly watchable.In a nut shell the film is about the travails of your world falling apart at the once comfortable seams when you are in middle age..From mother to husband to children and satisfying employment to bare stark loneliness and possible defeat.However Huppert shows us through some wonderful acting that it all brings about a true release and freedom.Inspite of Huppert's brilliance it is Pandora her big black cat that is the real star of the film..4 stars