Things to Come (L'avenir) (2016)

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Released 6-Sep-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-More from Palace Films x 4
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 97:50
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mia Hansen-Løve

Madman Entertainment
Starring Isabelle Huppert
Andre Marcon
Edith Scob
Roman Kolinka
Sarah Le Picard

Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     When we meet her, forty something Natalie Chazeaux (Isabelle Huppert) has a comfortable middle class life in Paris; she teaches philosophy, for which she has a passion, writes philosophy textbooks, has been married for 25 years and lives in a book lined house with her husband Heinz (Andre Marcon), who is also a teacher, and her two children. Natalie has good relationships with her present and past students, including ex-student, writer and anarchist Fabien (Roman Kolinka). The only blights on her settled existence are her crazy, hypochondriac mother Yvette (Edith Scob), her publishers who want to redesign her book to make it more eye-catching and student protesters who are picketing the school campus.

     Then things change: Natalie’s children leave home, her mother dies and Heinz leaves her for another woman. Natalie carries on with her life as best she can, amid a realisation that she now has the freedom to make other choices. She visits Fabien, his girlfriend and his anarchist friends in their farmhouse in the mountains and questions the values and assumptions she has hitherto held in her life. But are the values that made her an inspiring teacher and caring mother, and then grandmother, necessarily weaknesses that need to be changed?

     Things to Come (L’avenir) was written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love, who based her screenplay upon the life of her mother, who read the script and apparently only requested that the name of the cat in the film be changed (to protect the cat’s privacy – or so the IMDb notes).

     Isabelle Huppert in her long career has received 16 Cesar nominations, winning 2, the last for Elle which was also released in 2016 and for which she received an Oscar nomination. Things to Come is clearly Huppert’s film; she is seldom off screen and most scenes revolve around her point of view as she alternates between self-control, barely repressed sadness, strength and vulnerability. It is a mesmerising, wonderful, natural, low-key performance.

     Things to Come is not given to dramatics or histrionics (the relationship between husband and wife remains civil, if occasionally strained) while the film’s conclusion is not romantic or forced, but perfectly in line with what has gone before. It is a sensitive, thoughtful and warm film that questions the nature of happiness, and one woman’s established values and way of life. What would you change if you were forced to re-evaluate what was really important in your life? Things to Come provides one answer.

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Transfer Quality


     Things to Come is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Sequences in Brittany have a muted, grey colour scheme, while scenes in Paris and in the hills have natural, bright colours. Detail is strong, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent except for a couple of occasions when the daylight light source is behind the actor through a door. Night sequences with street lights have that yellowish digital tinge but otherwise blacks are solid and shadow detail fine. I noticed no marks or artefacts.

    The layer change is not noticeable.

    The burnt in English subtitles are error free.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a choice of French Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps or French Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps; there is also some German and a few English sentences.

     All dialogue sounded clear. This is a quiet film and the rears only featured ambient sound, such as the wind, waves, traffic noise or the music. I did not really notice much from the subwoofer, but nor was it needed. There is no original score in the film, although music from the likes of Franz Schubert and Woody Guthrie was used on occasion.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer (2:04)

More from Palace Films

    Trailers for Rosalie Blum (1:35), Perfect Strangers (1:58), The Wait (1:27) and Folies Bergere (1:50).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region 1 and UK Region 2 releases of Things to Come also have only the film’s trailer. Buy local.


     What is important in your life? What would you change if you were forced to re-examine your life, values and attitudes? Things to Come raises these questions via a thoughtful, intelligent script and a wonderful performance by Isabelle Huppert.

     The video and audio are fine. A trailer and trailers for other films are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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