L’avenir [Things to Come] (2016)

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Writer: Mia Hansen-Løve
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob, Sarah Le Picard, Solal Forte, Elise Lhomeau, Lionel Dray
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 29.10.2016

Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is an enthusiastic philosophy teacher, married to Heinz (André Marcon) for 25 years and has two grown children. She pursues her job with passion above and beyond the call of duty, keeping in touch with former students like Fabien (Roman Kolinka) and publishing school books and essays. The rest of her time is pretty much devoted to caring for her mother (Edith Scob). But then the rug gets pulled out from under her feet. In quick succession, Heinz announces he’s leaving her for another woman, her publisher announces that they can’t afford to publish her things anymore, and her mother moves into a home. Nathalie finds herself suddenly confronted with more liberty than she ever had in her life.

While I appreciate the story, L’avenir is telling, unfortunately it left me pretty cold, despite a great performance by Isabelle Huppert.

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Gemma Bovery (2014)

Gemma Bovery
Director: Anne Fontaine
Writer: Pascal Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine
Based on: Posy Simmondscomic and Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Isabelle Candelier, Niels Schneider, Edith Scob

Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) is a literature professor turned baker, living a rather quiet life with his family in a small village. But then new neighbors arrive: Gemma (Gemma Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (Jason Flemyng) who moved there from England. Martin is quickly obsessed with Gemma, believing that she is the real life Madame Bovary since he keeps finding parallels between her life and the book. Soon he starts meddling and that’s not really a good thing, even if done with good intentions.

I really enjoyed Gemma Bovery. It was funny, sweet and it had Gemma Arterton [who is a wonderful actress and one the most beautiful people on this earth, so that’s always a plus].

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Holy Motors (2012)

Holy Motors
Director: Leos Carax
Writer: Leos Carax
Cast: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) spends his way being driven around by Céline (Edith Scob) in a limousine. As they drive from place to place, Oscar uses elaborate make-up to move from role to role and at each new location he plays a different, unusual and surreal part. But who does he play these parts for?

Holy Motors is a weird film, but not necessarily worse off for it. It is quite entertaining in its abstract surreality, even if it does go on a little too long.

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L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] (2008)

L’heure d’été
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Charles Berling, Juliette Binoche, Jérémie Renier, Edith Scob

Hélène (Edith Scob) is celebrating her birthday with her kids Frédéric (Charles Berling), Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier) and their respective families. Since Hélène knows that she’s getting older, thoughts of succession and heritage are not far from her mind. Especially since she has devoted her entire life to her uncle’s legacy who was a famous artist. Her kids would rather not talk about it though. It is only after Hélène’s death that they really start to come to terms with it.

Summer Hours was beautifully shot, very well acted, had wonderful art in it and I can appreciate it. But it was also way too long and so very boring and I just wanted things to happen every once in a while. I missed a plot.

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