Things to Come ★★★

55/100

Not exactly subtle—I was already wincing just a few minutes in, when Hansen-Løve places the title card (which in French is The Future; presumably Sundance Selects wants to avoid confusion with Miranda July's film) over a shot of somebody's grave. Or maybe it's just a memorial site. In any case, the future = death! So now I'm viewing the entire movie through that lens, and only very occasionally being surprised, challenged, or enlightened. A month later, the only moment that sticks in my mind is Huppert's ex-husband "subtly" angling for an invitation to Christmas dinner right near the end and being politely but firmly ignored; everything else is a sedately pensive blur. After four features (I bailed on All Is Forgiven in '08 and have yet to go back), MH-L still strikes me as a fundamentally cautious filmmaker, afraid to risk looking foolish or giving offense. I've been waiting for a return to the urgency of Father of My Children's superior first half, and had assumed that her recent penchant for stories that span many years was a big part of the problem. This one is comparatively Aristotelian, though, and still I sorta shrug. No false notes, just never exciting to me on any level.