The Future

Year: 2011
Production Co: GNK Productions
Director: Miranda July
Writer: Miranda July
Cast: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater

Yes, the cat's inner monologue bookending each chapter of the movie is a bit much. And the plot goes off the rails about two-thirds through as you lose track of whether it's all being dreamt by one of the characters, all of the characters, or maybe even the cat.

It's a fairytale expressing the fears of a couple approaching middle age - fears about being halfway through life and without any real accomplishments.

The catalyst for Sophie (writer/director July) and Jason's realisation is that when they finally pick up the cat they intend to adopt from the shelter it's living in to recover from an accident in a month, they'll be 35 and thus officially middle aged.

It sparks off a crisis of conscience in both the hipster/scruffy/eternal child/entitled white couple, and in their own softly spoken, pixieish and ineffectual way they embark on twin odysseys of introspection about their lives, love and each other.

It involves chucking in a job as a tech support engineer to go door to door trying to convince people to plant trees to save the Earth, staging (or failing to stage) a dance performance every day to broadcast online and gain enough followers to vindicate an empty existence, inexplicably having an affair with another man and befriending an old man with some amazing stories who turns out to be the voice of the moon when time stops. Yes, it's that weird.

The star, writer and director July dials the twee and cute meter up to eleventy million and it won't be to everyone's taste. I just wish the plot itself had been a bit more accessible to convey what she wanted to say – it's so deeply buried in apparent allegory and with so little of a story to go on either, there ends up not being much to appreciate.

It's a bold experiment and to many people it will be a failed one, but it's the flipside of studio tent pole pictures with everything spelled out.

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