Things to Come ★★★½

A very unusual movie (esp. from a 30-something director), questioning the assumption that losing one's youthful radicalism is wrong per se and suggesting that the much-maligned "bourgeois lifestyle" - living in the grey areas described in the quote from Pascal's "Pensees", having no time for ideological schemas, briskly negotiating crises (a strike, a stalker, a departing husband, a sick mother) and moving on - may be the bravest thing a person can do. The French title translates as 'The Future', which is what the protesting high-school students are angry about, thinking of old age when they're still in their teens as our heroine points out; she herself never seems to think of the future, simply lives in an ever-unfolding present - and I spent about an hour thinking Hansen-Love was setting her up for moral judgment, then realised she actually admires her. Time moves on; we get a prologue and a "One year later" caption, but nothing really changes; right at the end, the word "Time" in 'Unchained Melody' signals the closing credits; the brisk, unvarying passage of Time is the film's true theme - a daring ploy that inevitably makes it slightly boring (Hansen-Love doesn't have the dramatic flair Assayas brings to such material), but very brave, though I wish I knew more about philosophy so as to get the allusions. Cinephile in-joke: heroine watches Certified Copy at the theatre, and gets upset because she missed the ending.

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