MIFF 2011 Film Review: THE FUTURE

7 Aug


I tried to get into see The Future on Wednesday 27 July but it was sold out in Greater Union 6 (which holds over 700 people) and the stand-by line was too long and so I went home. I tried my luck again on Monday 1st and was more successful. Again, it was playing to a packed house in Greater Union 6. On Tuesday 2 August I wrote this message on twitter; “Upon reflection: I did indeed hate The Future which I saw last night at #miff11. All of the other 735 viewers were wrong in liking it”. Since then I have listened to people defend the film in the form of various reviews and overheard conversations. One friend and I have had quiet the heated argument over it. Yet I stand by my original tweet and am refusing to back down!

The film is by Miranda July (whose other films I have not seen*) and is about 30-something couple Jason (Hamish Linklater) and Sophie (July herself) who, having decided to adopt a terminally ill cat (Paw Paw) realise they have thirty days in which to live the rest of their life before being saddled with responsibility. Both quit their jobs with Jason becoming a door-to-door representative of an ecologically-minded charity and Sophie trying, and failing, to film 30 dances of herself on YouTube- one for each day. Interspersed with this is the narration of Paw Paw who talks (IN THE MOST IRRITATING VOICE I HAVE EVER HEARD!!!) about the ‘darkness’ and being wanted.

Naturally both characters gravitate away from each other, seeking companionship (Jason’s is non-sexual, Sophie’s is) with other people. The real turning point of “this is a meh film” to “this film is wasting my time” was when Jason (all of a sudden!) can freeze time and talk to God. The consequences of this though turn out to be disastrous for him, for Sophie and for Paw Paw. And then, the film ends.

I don’t rate films in pictorial form (stars, a scale of 1-10 etc.) because I don’t think reviewers can sum-up a film in such a way and I think that people who read reviews should read the review and not look at rating but rest assured if I did do this, the pictorial rating would be low. Very low.

(*You don’t want to -ED)


9 Responses to “MIFF 2011 Film Review: THE FUTURE”

  1. Russell Hudson August 8, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    I was fortunate enough to watch her first feature Me and You and……. on DVD. Fortunate because of the eject button.

  2. jemila August 8, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    I hated ‘You and me and Everyone else we know.’ I had to stop it at the point where I thought it was verging on pedophilic themes for hipsters. So I didn’t go and see this film but your review pretty much confirms the pre-emptive review I made in my head but it sounds like it was much much worse than my mind would allow me to imagine.

  3. someone actually bothering to comment. August 8, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    good lord, this is one of the most depressingly witless “reviews” i’ve ever, ever read. amazing that someone can have the arrogance to uncork the old ‘i am too good to give scores; read the review!’ chestnut, yet does so in a review that doesn’t actually attempt a singular instance of critical analysis in its entirety.

    seriously, this is the first paragraph: “I tried to get into see The Future on Wednesday 27 July but it was sold out in Greater Union 6 (which holds over 700 people) and the stand-by line was too long and so I went home. I tried my luck again on Monday 1st and was more successful. Again, it was playing to a packed house in Greater Union 6”

    wow, such insightful analysis! you’re correct that you don’t need stars to go with that adept breakdown of the motion-picture in question. every word is literally heaving with meaning: it was in greater union 6 you say? fascinating. absolutely fascinating. your spell-binding recreation of your attempts to see this film is truly magical stuff, and your scalpel-sharp slicing up of the film’s theme, meaning, direction, place within the contemporary cinematic landscape, and relationship to miranda july’s other artworks (her spoken word, theatre, short stories, albums) was nothing short of brilliant.

    perhaps if sarcasm isn’t your bag, i should just say: this isn’t a film review, this is you talking about your tedious life, quoting yourself from twitter(!!!!!), recapping the plot, then calling something ‘annoying’. with no less than 14 uses of the word ‘i’. if this film truly made you mad, why do you fail so dismally –so comically– at articulating that rage?

    my wildly speculative theory: you have little to no talent as a writer. just because everyone has an opinion doesn’t mean that everyone has an informed opinion. just because the internet gives everyone the opportunity to voice that opinion doesn’t mean that they actually should.

    • Editor August 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      I believe Eleanor, who is an excellent reviewer in our humble opinion, was conveying the film was disproportionately popular in relation to its quality -hence discussion of the sellouts. It had an in built audience from the cult-of-Miranda-July perhaps. Just a little bit of reading between the lines should reveal this (as opposed to your literal, pedantic and, to be honest, tedious break down).

      A lot of these reviews are written in between seeing a great deal of films at the festival. While they might reach the lofty heights you have in mind, we think they give a fair indication of the reviewers reaction to the film.

      I recommend you have a look at Mia Robinson’s review, if you were interested in reading further about the film on our blog. https://australianfilmreview.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/miff-2011-the-future/

      Appreciate the comment. Don’t really appreciate the lack of social etiquette in conveying your criticisms.

  4. Hrumph August 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    That above comment is just blatant bullying. I don’t think anyone deserves to be attacked like that based on writing style. My wildly speculative theory – you disagreed with the reviewers opinion.

  5. swink August 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    They fail to realize that beyond-a-subpar film, there is no need for a well written review.
    Well then, if this was intentional then maybe his/her reason to write at all is due to 2 scenes at most (the realization of ‘love’ and how it constitutes in their lives). All else…mediocre.

  6. dissolvedpet August 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    While I would have preferred a more critical engagement with the text, sometimes all you want to say is ‘this & this destroyed the film, there is no point in going further or one is beating a dead horse’. This film has been disliked internationally, yet seems a perfect fit for twee Melbourne, along with Finisterrae. Thus the context of a flocking Melbourne is entirely apt to demonstrate this review as counter to the twee bollocks.

  7. asoders June 4, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    I just watched the DVD and I must admit I hated the film too. The two main protagonists are not exactly the Dynamic Duo, more like sleepwalkers, and it drives me nuts when women move and talk in the anxious, barely-alive way July does here. There is no relationship anywhere, no story, and I also hated that the cat died. Completely depressing.

  8. ミュウミュウ 店舗 April 28, 2013 at 7:14 am #


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