What started out as a performance piece has now evolved into Miranda July’s second feature-length film. The Future, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, is about a thirty-something couple who adopt an injured cat. That’s just the premise, though. July’s second film is as quirky as Me and You and Everybody We Know (except with less characters). The film explores interesting themes of time and space and uncertainty in an unconventional way, which I’m tempted to just say that they are explored in a Miranda July kind of way, but you’ll have to watch the film to agree or disagree.
- Writer/Director: Miranda July
- Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky, Joe Putterlik
- Music: Jon Brion
When Sophie and Jason decide to adopt a stray cat, their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves. The couple decide to start pursuing their individual goals, and through the process they each encounter people who change their attitudes towards each other in different, challenging ways.
- Pacing: At first, I wasn’t sure if the film’s slow pace was a good or bad thing. The film moves incredibly slow and while that could work against it, once you realize what Miranda July is trying to convey, it all makes sense. The pacing of the film becomes like another character in the whole story, which makes sense because the film is about time and it feeling like it’s just passing us by. Some of the best scenes are when everything is still and quiet because you can really feel like time is slowing down, if only for just a few moments.
- Paw-Paw’s monologues: Some of the sweetest moments are with Paw-Paw. Some of the best lines belong to Paw-Paw. The injured cat adds a whole other world to this story/film. It was such an interesting and beautiful choice to have this cat be the catalyst of The Future. A talking cat is such an odd way of getting a point across, especially because we associate talking animals with campy-style films, but Paw Paw’s monologues are so honest and innocent that if July had opted for a human character, the magic would’ve been lost.
- The Miranda July stamp: I’ve only got Me and You and Everybody We Know and a hand full of short stories to base this on, but Miranda July leaves a trace. She’s a a creative filmmaker with her own personal style. She might be taking a jab at simple and common topics, but she does it in her own way, and I can appreciate that.
- More Like Siblings: The relationship between Sophie and Jason was less passionate and more sibling-like, which was disturbing. Both July and Linklater looked like siblings with their similar haircuts, and it didn’t help that they didn’t embrace each other like lovers, even though they shared the same bed. Both were good as individuals, but as a couple, it was hard to believe that they were in love or ever had been.
The Future was both employable and interesting to watch. Miranda July adds her own indie twist on film about time and space, and it makes for a decent movie. However, personally, I do feel more attracted to the artist than to the craft and at times that can feel like the artist is overshadowing his/her work.
The Future hits limited theaters on July 29, 2011.