TIFF 2018 Review: MAYA (France 2018) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Maya Poster
The film follows a 30-year-old man named Gabriel, a French war reporter who was taken to hostage in Syria and then heads to India after months in captivity.

Director:

Mia Hansen-Løve

It’s been frequently on the news about war journalists in Syria being kidnapped with the threat of being decapitated on live televsion.  MAYA, Mia Hansen-Love’s (LE PERE DE MES ENFANTS, EDEN) latest film has one such French journalist recently freed who travels to India on vacation to recuperate.  

He meets MAYA, an Indian girl who opens his eyes back to life, though she is too young for him to start a love affair.  The best segment of the film is his re-meeting of his mother  who is working with foreign children, though detached from her own son. This the only serious musings on life by the director.  Lighter fare. otherwise  from Hansen-Love with lots of beautiful scenery of poverty stricken India. 

 The film does not really go anywhere as deep as her previous films but MAYA is still worth a look.

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TIFF 2016 Movie Review: L’AVENIR (THINGS TO COME) (France/Germany 2016) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

things_to_come_poster.jpgL’AVENIR (THINGS TO COME) (France/Germany 2016) ****
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka

Review by Gilbert Seah

Director Hansen-Løve’s (LA PERE DE MES ENFANTS, UN AMOUR DE JEUNESSE, EDEN) latest feature is again a film about life and living. Like in the other 3 films mentioned, her protagonist undergoes a major change in life in the midst of the movie.

Nathalie (another excellent performance by Isabelle Huppert) is a dedicated and demanding teacher, wife, and mother whose life is jolted when her husband of many years leaves her for another woman. As her life slowly crumbles (she loses her publications as well), Nathalie slowly adapts using her background in philosophy.

Nathalie is not as assured and confident as she is in the past. Her black, obsess cat, Pandora stands also as a metaphor for her life. But Nathalie, at least finds an unlikely friend in a former student, the radical young communist Fabien (Roman Kolinka).

The film is also beautifully shot in Normandy in a beautiful vacation house where the tides waters of the sea come into the backyard (my personal dream home). The musical score ranging from classical (Schubert) to folk (Woody Guthrie) is marvellous.

There are lots more to relate, reference and to enjoy in Hansen-Løve’s film such as a short clip seen of her husband Olivier Assaya’s film in one scene. As in all of Hansen-Løve’s films, L’AVENIR is an intelligent, handsomely mounted production that is an entertaining and insightful look on life and living.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhErAqJ8HGE

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