The Films of Miranda July
Me and You and Everyone We Know
The Future (July 31/11)
A tremendously disappointing sophomore effort from Miranda July, The Future details the complications that ensue after a quirky couple (July's Sophie and Hamish Linklater's Jason) decide to adopt a cat from their local animal shelter - with the impending arrival of the kitty forcing the pair to radically shake up their lives (ie Sophie and Jason inexplicably believe that the cat's presence will, in effect, strip them of their freedom and prevent them from following their dreams). There's little doubt that The Future fares best in its opening half hour, as July does a reasonably adept job of establishing the central characters and their oddball existence - with July and Linklater's strong performances initially allaying the more overtly off-kilter elements in July's script (eg the silly narration from the aforementioned cat). There inevitably reaches a point, however, at which the film's lack of momentum becomes more and more difficult to comfortably overlook, with the increased emphasis on the protagonists' episodic exploits (eg Sophie has an affair, Jason befriends a peculiar retiree, etc) resulting in a seriously stagnant midsection that eventually gives way to an unreasonably (and aggressively) avant-garde third act (eg Jason stops time, Sophie's sweater develops sentience, etc). The Future's subsequent transformation from mildly-watchable drama to barely-tolerable art-house experiment cements its place as a hopelessly misguided piece of work, with the suffocatingly nonsensical atmosphere ensuring that even July's fans will be left scratching their heads on an progressively frequent basis.