TIFF 2020: As Spring Comes (Marie-Ève Juste, Canada)

By Adam Nayman

Metaphor blooms in As Spring Comes, which reconfigures a frosbitten ice-fishing shack into a literal hothouse. Sheltered inside with her lover in what seems to be a mutually understood ritual, a young woman photogenically mutates—evolves? reverts?—from fauna to flora. Typically, a little magic realism goes a long way, and thankfully, French-Canadian director Marie-Ève Juste doesn’t let things get precious (or overly Lynchian, given her film’s conceptual proximity to The Grandmother). Impose interpretation at your peril: in the absence of authorial explanation (which will hopefully not be forthcoming), what we’re left with is an exercise in textures and tactility that doesn’t sweat meaning, instead cultivating its own ardent, humid, and compactly self-contained poetry.