March 27, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 37°F


Poor direction fails impressionist film

Miranda July’s latest film, “The Future,” is an impressionistic and underdeveloped romantic drama that fails to convey a substantial message.

“The Future” follows Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater), a couple in their mid-30s who approach the adoption of an injured cat, Paw Paw, with the same degree of seriousness most couples face when having a child. Paw Paw provides snippets of narration to guide the film through the couple’s failing relationship.

July crafts her film with a surrealism and dream logic unusual for American films that echoes works such as Federico Fellini’s “8 ½.” With cryptic dialogue and strange visual metaphors ranging from characters talking to the moon to stopping time, “The Future” suffers from an often incoherent plot and poorly written script.

Paw Paw’s dialogue is unintentionally humorous as July frequently mistakes “cutesy-ness” for profound philosophical musing in her writing style. At the same time, July and Linklater’s performances are limited by the ambiguous script, which prevents either actor from conveying the emotional resonance that the director intends.

While July’s serious approach to the plot is evident, the film’s lack of structure prevents it from leaving a meaningful impression.

 “The Future” was written and directed by Miranda July and written by Hamish Linklater and David Warshofsky. 

1 out of 4 stars