It only took one film (2005’s Me and You and Everyone We Know) for Miranda July’s brand of reality-based whimsy to divide audiences. While that somewhat dark tale of quirky suburban introverts recalled the likes of other modern indie filmmakers, Todd Solondz certainly came to mind at the time, July’s second feature film outing as writer/director/star truly cements her reputation as a refreshing and talented cinematic voice.
Sophie (July) teaches dance to young girls while dreaming of becoming a star on YouTube like that of her studio’s obnoxiously talented secretary. She lives with her boyfriend Jason (Hamish Linklater), a computer tech turned door-to-door tree salesman. The pressures of her early/mid thirties weigh heavily on Sophie as she abruptly embarks on a new life with an oddly chosen new partner, leaving Jason alone to wallow in their empty apartment with his ability to stop time, which he does in an effort to keep Sophie from moving further away. The longing on both characters’ parts is true and effective, but the inclusion of Jason’s magical powers, a talking cat (voiced by July in what sounds like an impersonation of Sarah Vowell), and a bunch of her now patented quirky characters (some of which are non-actors) all add to an effective representation of those difficult years that occur prior to finally settling down and giving in. Highly recommended.
The Future opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse.