Scrolling Headlines:

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Mia Hansen-Løve’s “Things to Come” is a sad yet ultimately uplifting drama

Jeannette E. Spaghetti/Flickr

Jeannette E. Spaghetti/Flickr

A broken heart is among the hardest experiences for a human being to overcome. Unlike physical pain, which ceases after recovery, having one’s heart broken by a spouse or romantic partner is a pain that is affecting in a less tangible way. The pain of heartbreak always heals slowly, regardless of how many Band-Aids our empathetic peers may place over our hearts.

Those who experience heartbreak in their youth, though it feels earthshattering in the moment, should consider themselves fortunate. As the adage “time heals all wounds” implies, with time there is an infinite number of possibilities, all of which can bring forth relief for a broken heart.

However, what if there is not enough time to allow for healing? This frightening scenario is one that French director Mia Hansen-Løve brings to focus in her new film, “Things to Come.” In her previous film, “Eden,” Hansen-Løve attempted to look at youth culture through electronic music, and explored the pressures that come with being young and opportunistic. With “Things to Come,” Hansen-Løve explores the opposite scenario, where a character in her late 50s, who is well established in her life, strives to maintain stability in a world that is starting to shake things up as time passes.

The film’s main protagonist, Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), is a middle-aged philosophy professor who appears to have built herself a fulfilling life. She finds intellectual stimulation through her students and teaching, and is satisfied romantically from her husband – a fellow philosophy professor.

Nevertheless, the film’s façade of stable livelihood soon fades as Nathalie’s husband informs her that he has fallen in love with someone else. Unlike most, who might break down, cry, or delve into fits of despair and outrage, Nathalie instead has a rather tame response to the news.

When a younger student of Nathalie’s asks her about the state of her romantic life, she replies, “Oh, you know, I have a rich intellectual life. It’s enough for me.” Though Nathalie seems assured that this rationale is the case, the viewer can detect the frailty in her voice as she speaks, and soon Nathalie’s actions begin to match our suspicions that, despite her attempts to escape her feelings through intellectual stimulation, her basic human emotions will, in the end, rise to the surface.

Within the film’s short time span, other heartbreaking events occur in Nathalie’s life. Throughout these events, Nathalie strolls through her day noticeably stressed out, yet emotionally numb, exhibiting only glimpses of the emotions in which the viewer might hope or expect her to feel.

However, late at night, or in spontaneous outbursts throughout the day, the layers of philosophy and ideas in which Nathalie shrouds herself in become unraveled. Tears stroll down her face in between large, painful sobs. Then, emptiness washes over her face, as emotions fail to convey the pain and loneliness that she feels.

Although “Things to Come” is about a middle-aged woman’s battle with rough events that take place in the present, the film contrasts these events in relation to the important moments to come. Nathalie has much to live for in the film, as her daughter has recently had a baby and many young French students rely on her incredible knowledge of philosophy in order to develop their own perspectives of the world around them.

For the life lessons that Nathalie’s experiences can impart, “Things to Come” is absolutely worth seeing. We must sift through our sad moments in order to reach those that contain a glory that makes it all worthwhile. Nathalie’s battle to focus on impersonal things in her own life initially saddens, but ultimately uplifts us all.

William Plotnick can be reached at wplotnick@umass.edu.

Leave A Comment