Director: Miranda July
Writer: Miranda July
Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsjy, Isabella Acres, and Joe Putterlik
Miranda July’s The Future is a quirky and odd look at an existential crisis. Miranda July writes, directs, and stars as Sophie, who’s in her mid-30s and is about to adopt a cat with her partner Jason (Hamish Linklater). They believe the cat will only live six months at first, which doesn’t seem like a long commitment, but then find out the cat could live much longer and they start to panic. To make things worse, they must wait a month before adopting it, which leaves them to believe they only have one month of freedom before the cat dominates their lives. While it’s a silly premise, the film is a very emotional and a raw portrayal of feeling lost and isolated in life and leaves a lasting impression.
Both of the characters react differently to the idea of time running out. Jason goes out and does random things to try and find fulfilment, while Sophie sets herself a creative challenge. Her initial idea is to record herself dancing and upload it online, thirty dances in thirty days, but quickly gives up on the idea and instead, starts an affair with someone purely out of a desire to be seen. There’s an interesting line about how the affair partner thought she’d be independent, but she’s reliant on other’s approval.
Both Sophie and Jason are only thinking about themselves, and end up hurting each other. Jason isn’t there for Sophie, when she needs him, but her affair ends up destroying their relationship. She feels ignored by Jason, but doesn’t seem to realise that he’s struggling as well and the romantic gesture she’s looking for could be from either of them.
There’s a really interesting moment where time freezes for him, as the days still race past for her, it’s still the middle of the night, one minute before everything breaks down. While she carries on living as normal, he’s stuck in the moment and is unable to move on.
The cat represents their happiness, all they need to do is commit, but they can’t instead they freak out ruin everything. The voice over from the cat is uncanny and unnerving, but at the same time really sad to listen to. The couple don’t realise how they’re letting down others, and isolating themselves from those around them. Sophie misses important milestones in her friend’s lives because she doesn’t know what to say when she calls them, and their lives end up moving on without her.
The Future is a poignant and thought provoking film. It’s a powerful portrayal of a mid-life crisis that is incredibly relatable. The quirky premise and strange style may put some people off, but if you can get in sync with the film it all clicks together into a really emotional and raw film.
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