In “Things to Come”, Isabelle Huppert gives another masterful performance in a continually impressive career.
Unlike many of her roles which had a bizarre aspect, her character in this French film is Nathalie, a professor and author leading a calm and comfortable life which is unexpectedly thrown into turmoil. Her husband (Andre Marcon) leaves her, her mother (Edith Scob) is moved to a nursing home, and she is forced to confront more changes. Nathalie visits a commune where a former student resides.
Huppert brings an emotional depth to Nathalie. Her close-ups are particularly expressive and intense. A scene where she unexpectedly views her ex-husband and his new partner is memorable.
Director Mia Hansen-Love, who was chosen Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival gives a potent sense of the details of Nathalie’s life, like her strong attachment to her favorite books. Hansen-Love, who also wrote the screenplay, effectively contrasts the crowded urban life of Nathalie with the quiet rural setting of the commune where she can contemplate her new life.
At an outdoor panel at Telluride, Huppert said that her job as an actress is to show the emotional state of the character at a point of time and it is up to a film to connect these points. Both she and Hansen-Love are extremely successful collaborating in “Things to Come”, making the transformations of Nathalie’s life very compelling.