Things to Come (L'avenir)

Critics Consensus

A union to cherish between a writer-director and star working at peak power, Things to Come offers quietly profound observations on life, love, and the irrevocable passage of time.



Total Count: 139


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User Ratings: 6,663
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Movie Info

What happens when the life you've worked so hard to build falls apart? In THINGS TO COME, Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert, in "a career-best performance" (Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair), portrays Nathalie, a philosophy teacher juggling a rich life of the mind with the day-to-day demands of career and family, which include frequent visits to her drama queen mother, played by the legendary Edith Scob(Eyes Without a Face). But with the bombshell revelation that her husband of 25 years is leaving her, Nathalie finds herself adrift, but also with a newfound sense of liberation. With nothing to hold her back, Nathalie sets out to define this new phase of her life and to rediscover herself. Winner of the Best Director award at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, the acclaimed new film from Mia Hansen-Love (Eden) is a soul-searching look at what it means to create a life of one's own.

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Isabelle Huppert
as Nathalie Chazeaux
Edith Scob
as Yvette, la mère

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Critic Reviews for Things to Come (L'avenir)

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (31)

Audience Reviews for Things to Come (L'avenir)

  • Mar 11, 2017
    Isabelle Huppert, an icon of French cinema, has to engage all of her artistic power to give meaning and complexity to a screenplay that is not too far from a self-help paperback made with cut-out figures. The film analyses superficially how to handle divorce, career threats and family issues by being cool, calm and collected in the presence of the others involved. You can let go in private, and howl. It is an ironic reflection of the problems faced by Huppert's character, who writes complex academic books which her publisher wants to dumb down into glossy, primary-coloured, mass-market items; meanwhile, her husband of three decades announces flatly one day that he is moving in with someone else. Other family members, young and old, also have textbook problems. The shallowness is a fault of construction and direction in the film, since there is nothing wrong with the acting talent. Huppert, with her characteristically surgical style, attacks each situation forcefully in turn. When it is time for her character to let go, you see the emotional abandonment and devastation. But the film is not committed to her themes and wants to do other things. Huppert is frequently cast in French promotional cinema and this is no exception - there are travelogues in Paris, Brittany and the Pyrenees, elegant clothing styles, charming cottages, regional produce, and quotations from French philosophy, which is itself a national product. The resolutions to the various personal problems are conventional; but then, perhaps it is advertising traditional family values, too. By all means be impressed by what you see here, as that is the intention; and it is worth it just to watch Huppert wrangle an inferior cinematic product into some consequence.
    . . Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    There is a certain intuitive feel to Mia Hansen-Løve's films, as though she prefers to always follow her heart in order to find a direction for her characters and narrative - which, in turn, ends up being a bit irregular and repetitive, even if lifted by Huppert's excellent performance.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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