Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)

things to come

The title Things to Come may conjure in the viewer many conflicting feelings. Whether it be a sort of reminder that the best is yet ahead, an inducement of a fatalistic attitude, or even a memento mori, Mia Hansen-Løve foregrounds the idea of the inevitable. However, her film concerns itself solely with the present, anchoring itself in the rush of human experience with vigor and beauty. Centering on Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), a philosophy professor living sometime in the late 2000s, Things to Come follows her life over the course of a year (with a brief prologue and extended epilogue) as she deals with marital problems, her aging and weakened mother (played with verve by Édith Scob), and engages in more academic matters. On the surface, this premise would smack of weightlessness, but Hansen-Løve imbues it with a light, always consequential import.

The key to the success of Things to Come is, perhaps inevitably in this year, the magnificence of Isabelle Huppert. For one, her ability to relay weighty philosophical ideas both in lecture and in casual conversation with her family and friends is impressive in more than one sense of the word; she is always persuasive and adamant in her belief, but it always feels like a conversation, like Huppert embodies Nathalie’s worldview and gives it life. Even more crucial is Huppert’s physicality, an odd term to be invoking in a film where no one moves more quickly than a brisk walk. Whether it be wading through a muddy beach to find a cell phone signal or moving through her apartment, she always seems to be in motion, never rudderless or lacking in purpose—though of course she does have many crises of faith or loneliness.

Continue reading Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)”

Friday December 16 – Thursday December 22

Featured Film:

La La Land at the Pacific Place and the Lincoln Square

Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to his award-winning Whiplash is a musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and as of right now it looks like it’s probably going to win the Best Picture Oscar. It’s not the best picture of the year, of course, but it’s good enough. Stone plays a struggling actress and Gosling a struggling pianist and they fall in love and then part because of career difficulties, like someone took the plot of New York, New York, but drained it of all the darkness and passion. The film has drawn comparisons to Jacques Demy’s Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but the broken hearts here are more signified than felt (and anyway, the Demy it most resembles is Young Girls of Rochefort, at least in that the opening number is a pale imitation of that film’s glorious intro). Still, as Hollywood recreations of New Wave recreations of Classic Hollywood go, this isn’t bad, though I’m baffled why Stone and Gosling whisper-sing through the whole movie. Stone starred in Cabaret on Broadway, shouldn’t she be able to sing out every once in awhile? It opens this week at the AMC Pacific Place and the Cinemark Lincoln Square, and you can read our full review here.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

The Eagle Huntress (Otto Bell) Fri-Thurs
Ali and Nino (Asif Kapadia) Fri-Tues
Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003) Sat Only
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Jalmari Helander, 2010) Sat Only
Deconstructing the Beatles: The White Album Tues Only
Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Starts Weds
Miracle on 34th Street (Les Mayfield, 1947) Weds Only
White Christmas (Michael Curtiz, 1954) Thurs Only Sing-along

Grand Illusion Cinema:

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Fri-Thurs 35mm
The Brain (Ed Hunt, 1988) Fri Only VHS

Landmark Guild 45th:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
Nanna Nenu Naa Boyfriends (Bhaskar Bandi) Fri-Thurs
Dhruva (Surender Reddy) Fri-Thurs
It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Sun & Weds Only

Northwest Film Forum:

Oyster Factory (Kazuhiro Soda) Fri & Sat Only
The Eyes of My Mother (Nicolas Pesce) Fri-Sun Only
Sin Alas (Ben Chace) Fri-Sun Only
The Eyes of the Totem (WS Van Dyke, 1927) Sun Only

AMC Pacific Place:

La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Wasted Times (Cheng Er) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Befikre (Aditya Chopra) Fri-Thurs
The Super Parental Guardians (Joyce E. Bernal) Fri-Thurs
Dear Zindagi (Gauri Shinde) Fri-Thurs

Seven Gables:

The Eagle Huntress (Otto Bell) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987) Fri-Sun Quote-along
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Fri-Thurs In Smell-O-Vision
White Christmas (Michael Curtiz, 1954) Weds & Thurs Only Sing-along

Sundance Cinemas:

Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
The Hollow Point (Gonzalo López-Gallego) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Solace (Afonso Poyart) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review