Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Hamish Linklater
Miranda July.
Miranda July.
Miranda July.
Running Time
91 minutes

Gone Girl
4 Star Empire Rating
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
What We Did On Our Holiday
3 Star Empire Rating

Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
5 Star Empire Rating

The Future
Miranda July and No-One Else You Know

submit to reddit

Lookalike couple Sophie (July) and Jason (Linklater) have a relationship crisis when they realise they have 30 days until they are due to adopt a stray cat named Paw-Paw. Venturing out into the world to enjoy their last month of absolute freedom, they each encounter someone who will change their lives more profoundly than the presence of a mere cat.

The Future
If words like 'quirky', ‘offbeat’ and ‘mumblecore’ send you scurrying for the hills, start lacing your hiking boots. It’s been six years since Miranda July beguiled us with her Camera D’Or-winning debut Me And You And Everyone We Know, in which the writer-director bravely, and winningly, cast herself at the centre of a delicate love story, surrounded by a series of perfectly realised studies of human nature — the kind Todd Solondz might make if he wasn’t such an inveterate misanthrope. With The Future, her second film, July proves her lightning-in-a-bottle act was no fluke.

When we first meet Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater), they are playing a game in which Jason pretends he can literally stop time: Sophie plays along, and they both freeze in complete stasis, keeping up the pretense until one of them breaks the spell. It’s a metaphor for the way time seems to have stopped for both of them: stuck in a rut so deep they are too apathetic to get the iPod charger, much less quit their jobs, or even each other, and explore the world beyond their existential paralysis. The impending arrival of Paw-Paw — who, in one of the film’s more fanciful interludes, delivers soliloquies voiced by July herself — is the inciting incident that puts a blip in the status quo, sending Sophie and Jason on diverging journeys of self-discovery.

While these are relatively uneventful on the scale of traditional odysseys— highlights include the purchase of a second-hand hairdryer, a bid to upload a series of quirky dances to YouTube, and an attempt to sell trees door-to-door — they represent huge changes for Sophie and Jason, offering experiences either random or synchronicitous, depending on your point of view.

As with her first film, July finds new things to say about human foibles, spoken in a fresh and distinctive voice (and many a memorable quote). This time, however, her observations and insights — sometimes petty, occasionally profound — are shot through with an icy shard of painful melancholia, particularly in the last 30 minutes, when the whimsy of the set-up gives way to a sucker punch of genuine feeling and truth.

July’s second film, while not quite as perfectly realised as her debut, nimbly avoids the ‘sophomore slump’, providing the curious with another window into her highly idiosyncratic world.

Reviewed by David Hughes

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Future
Empire Star Rating

RE: Pretentious and boring!

I loved Miranda July's last film You and Everyone We Knowm looking forward to this. I get a bit tired of people throwing the word "pretentious' around on forums in a way that is meaningless and just indicates "I didn't like this". I found her last film nothing but sincere and heartfelt, presenting a very particular world view, you are either attuned to or not. Also, I just adopted a cat, so I think I can relate. ... More

Posted by Herr Schnitzel at 16:36, 12 November 2011 | Report This Post

Pretentious and boring!

I have total faith in Empire reviews, and make most of my viewing decisions using them as a guide. I went to see this film last night as it had a four star review but I would not recommend it to my worst enemy! It felt twice the length of the running time, the acting was atrocious and it was in danger of disappearing up its own arse at any of the numerous painful moments. The whole film had the feel of a student movie with a studio funded sheen. However, as the saying goes, you can't polish a t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by purpleryan at 14:14, 10 November 2011 | Report This Post

RE: The Future

Great movie and nice article. ... More

Posted by krisstewart at 10:02, 07 November 2011 | Report This Post

You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)