It was in film school that I became aware of the extraordinary talents of the French Cesar-award winning actress Isabelle Huppert. But with two films hitting stateside in the span of a month, as well as her well-deserved AFI FEST Tribute last month, Huppert may be trending at exactly the right time to catch the eyes of Oscar voters. Just days ago she won Best Actress for her pitch-perfect, complex performance in Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle,” and Friday another film opens in LA and NY, the winning, “Things To Come,” written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love.

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An authentic Huppert as an intelligent, passionate woman

“Things To Come” profiles high school philosophy professor Nathalie (Huppert) as she navigates her passion for teaching in the midst of student protests, and her relationship with professor husband, Heinz (Andre Marcon), two kids, challenging mother, and former students. Nathalie’s passion for philosophy is clear and the film doesn’t hesitate to drop in some writings from Rousseau or Hannah Arendt’s first husband, Gunther Anders.

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Nathalie's strength and passion contrast sharply to those around her, including corporate publishers and her bi-polar mother (Edith Scob). Nathalie’s life changes dramatically when Heinz, tells her he’s been seeing another woman and is moving in with her. Nathalie recognizes her new freedom, but what exactly is she to do with it?

Mia Hansen-Love draws from real life with Huppert in mind

At the age of 35, French writer/director Mia Hansen-Love has already produced an acclaimed body of work with films like “Father of My Children” and “Goodbye First Love.” A true independent, Hansen-Love hoped to cast Huppert for her latest film; in fact she even wrote the part with Huppert in mind.

Hansen-Love remarks about actress’ talents in the film’s production notes, “Beyond the fact that I rate [Huppert] as the greatest French actress, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the part.” As for the inspiration of philosophy professors, Hansen-Love’s parents were both philosophy teachers who also divorced.

‘Things To Come’ for film and talent

It’s fitting that the film’s title plays on so many levels. For Nathalie, it’s looking forward to a life that’s uncharted.

For actress Huppert it's a chance to play a character that is grounded by life and family and yet passionate about her career, learning, and philosophical thought. For director Hansen-Love, it’s a film that resonates as a woman’s journey through memories of one’s family; one’s past and present, as well as one’s future. And it’s especially relatable in its telling. It’s a moving film that speaks to the complexities of living. And there are certainly “things to come,” i.e., awards and accolades, for this talented actress and filmmaker.

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“Things To Come” is 103 minutes, Rated PG-13 and opens Friday in LA at Laemmle’s Royal and in New York at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas 6.

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