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The Future

The Future
Thursday September 1st, 2011

The Future is a surreal, melancholic, character study about a daft, young couple sharing a small apartment in California. Jason (Hamish Linklater)  is a nerdy guy who works at home providing computer tech support. Sophie (Miranda July)  is bored both in her relationship with Jason and with her job at a dance studio. They concur that their lives have become stale and predictable and that the only hope of salvaging a future together lies in embracing change.

Things start to fall apart immediately as good intentions supersede pragmatism beginning with a trip to the animal shelter where they agree to adopt a sickly cat (Paw Paw) with a limited life expectancy. Furthermore they can't even take possession of the animal for 30 days owing to some bandages that have to be removed first.

Jason leaves his tech support job to work for the environment and tries selling trees door to door, a tough challenge in a booming economy a recipe for disaster in this one.

Meanwhile Sophie quits her dance teaching job but instead of bursting out of her cocoon she becomes depressed and withdrawn and ends up reaching out to an older man (David Warshofsky) who had earlier crossed paths with her. He seems to be a pleasant guy who's raising a rather strange little girl (Isabella Acres) by himself and perhaps Sophie feels as if she's adopting the two of them. As her involvement deepens, the change she once desired so enthusiastically now threatens to dissolve her relationship with Jason.

I like the way The Future keeps you feeling disoriented and you're never quite sure where it's going. It features good performances from director, writer Miranda July and Hamish Linklater. She beautifully captures the screwball qualities of Sophie. She wants to do so much good but lacks the ability to comprehend when she's out of her depth.

Hamish Linklater is terrific as Jason, a placid, natural born follower. In a wink to science fiction his character possesses the ability to stop time but the pace of life moves so slowly for him anyway that it's hardly worth the effort to do it.

The multi-talented Miranda July wears a fourth hat in this film. She is the voice of Paw Paw. In a film where time stops and children go to sleep buried up to their necks why should a talking cat be such a surprise?