I recently watched L’Avenir (Things to Come), starring Isabelle Huppert, on Netflix. The 2016 French film was the nominee or winner of multiple awards for best foreign film and best actress. In a nutshell, Huppert is a high school philosophy teacher and author who loses, in quick succession, her marriage, her mother, and her publisher. Like many French films, the tone is matter of fact, rather than maudlin. The message might be summarised as: Life is like this, but you just have to get on with things.
There’s a naturalness to Huppert’s acting – you feel as though you are truly watching her life. L’avenir (lav-en-eer) literally means “the future,” and the viewer is left with the belief that the future is quietly optimistic for Huppert’s character. There are English subtitles, but the dialogue is generally slow and clear enough for a high intermediate student of French to understand. The final scene is a family Christmas dinner, so it’s even seasonally appropriate.