Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Miranda July received attention for her debut as a writer/director with "Me and You and Everyone We Know" (2005), which received multiple awards at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, among others. Her sophomore attempt is "The Future", which can be described in nearly every opposite way that her debut was described. Where "Me and You" was delicate, "The Future" is abrasive; and where "Me and You" was tender, "The Future" insensitive. Miranda July is poetic and daring in how she desperately attempts to find ways for her outcast characters to find happiness. With "Me and You" she had John Hawkes, but there isn't a performance equal to his that can carry this film.
"The Future" is narrated by a cat Paw-Paw, who is waiting to be adopted and is adorably naive and wise. Paw-Paw hopes to be adopted by Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) who are a couple that are going through the motions. They originally believe he will only survive another six months, but the vet informs them he could be around as long as five more years. With a month left until they can complete the adoption process, Sophie and Jason figure they must say good-bye to their freedom. At 35, they conclude that they'll be 40 in five years, which is the new 50. "Everything after that is just borrowed time," Jason says. Determined to make the most of the next thirty days, Sophie and Jason temporarily cut off their Internet, quit their boring jobs and set about to do something that means something. It is during the month of exploration that Sophie seeks the companionship of an older divorced dad Marshall (David Warshofsky) and Jason meets lonely elderly widow Joe (Joe Putterlik), a man who was joyously married to his wife sixty-four years prior to her passing. These new relationship help Sophie and Jason to better understand themselves and what happiness means to them.
The performances are extremely indie and difficult to connect with. Jason is easier to connect to emotionally than the socially removed Sophie character, but together their awkwardness is attractive. How they play off each other is like a relationship that has really been built over the years. I could watch the scene of their special abilities over again and loved how they brought that back into the story in the second half of the film.
Ultimately, this isn't a film that you should run out and find. But if you are like me and see a lot of films and at times run out of films to watch, this is a DVD worth picking up. As an indie film, I doubt it will ever be picked up for TV, so you will need to put a little effort into finding it. For me it was found through Redbox and Netflix. But with only 2 Quacks that is about enough effort for both of us.