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The Future (4 stars)

Miranda July's feature charts couple's existential crisis

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The Future

(12A) 90min

‘Quirky’ is the word most frequently bandied about when describing the work of Miranda July. The Future is a far more disturbing and sombre film than this adjective would suggest. OK, so it’s narrated by a cat, but a cat who alludes to the ‘darkness that it is not appropriate to talk about’ within the film’s opening moments.

The premise is simple enough: Sophie and Jason, an underachieving couple in their mid-30s, decide to give a home to a stray, terminally-ill cat named Paw Paw. The impending responsibility of this adoption causes them to ‘re-prioritise’ in a rather drastic manner: they turn off the internet, quit their dull jobs and proceed to bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘existential crisis’.

As Sophie, July delivers an troubling portrait of a woman in flight from her own life. This streak of self-destruction guides her into hell (which in July’s world is the banality and disconnect of American suburbia).

As in her 2005 debut feature Me, You and Everyone We Know (2005), the lure of technology and sex only provide evermore elaborate paths to anaesthesia: so long as one can fill up all those empty moments, it might be possible to keep that darkness (the one that the talking cat warns us of) at bay... but only for so long.

Cameo, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 4 Nov.

The Future Trailer

The Future

  • 4 stars
  • 2011
  • Germany/US
  • 91 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Miranda July
  • Written by: Miranda July
  • Cast: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater
  • UK release: 4 November 2011

Sophie and Jason decide to give a home to a stray, terminally-ill cat named Paw Paw. They turn off the internet, quit their dull jobs and proceed to bring a whole new meaning to the term 'existential crisis'.

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