Time to Leave

"Excellent"

Time to Leave Review


Leave it to fascinating French writer/director François Ozon to take one of the most tired movie cliches of all time -- "I'm sorry, but you only have a few months to live." -- and turn into to a totally fresh look at what it truly means to live. Time to Leave shows how the final months of handsome 31-year-old gay fashion photographer Romain (Melvil Poupaud) turn out to be both the worst and the best of his life.

Handed his death sentence by his doctor, Romain chooses to let his cancer kill him rather than suffer through the indignities of debilitating treatment that even the doctor admits has only a five percent chance of working. But now what? Romain's first instinct is to push everyone away in order to protect them from the pain of watching him die. Always prickly with his family, who have struggled with his homosexuality, a family dinner he attends turns positively toxic when Romain insults his fragile mother (Marie Rivière) and father (Daniel Duval) and calls his sister (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) a bad mother. When his father drives him home, Romain asks him, "Do I frighten you?" Dad replies, "Yes, sometimes." Through all this, Romain has forgotten to tell them his big news.

Next he scares off his live-in boyfriend Sasha (Christian Senegewald) before fleeing into the arms of his beloved grandmother (a beautifully desiccated Jeanne Moreau). These two see eye to eye, and he tells her everything. She agrees he should feel free to die and approaches the whole thing with sadness but also with a typical Gallic shrug. When he leaves her, knowing he'll never see her again, he tells her that he wishes he had been someone else so he could have married her. It's a weird but nice compliment.

As the weeks tick by, Romain grows thinner, shaves his head, and has a fascinating encounter with a roadside waitress who offers him a chance to preserve his heritage in a unique way. His final days are spent making amends, trying to make final connections with the people he has been pushing away, but Ozon is honest enough to show us that this doesn't always work, that things don't always end with hugs and happy tears.

In the final act, Ozon stages a highly original and wordless seaside death scene that neatly sums up all the themes he's been playing with. You leave the world alone, he seems to be saying, but you'll take many memories of the people you knew and loved with you. Rarely do such simple scenes have such great power, but Ozon has an excellent track record of pulling them off. Watch how the sun sets for the final time in Romain's life. Remarkable.

The making-of featurette included on the new DVD is unusually thorough, going deep behind many of the movie's scenes, including that final beach scene. It's interesting to watch how an auteur like Ozon handles everything from casting leather daddy extras for a gay bar scene (not to mention choreographing an intricate fisting scene) to managing the minor crisis of an actor injuring his nose just before an important day of filming. Let's just say he's a hands-on director.

Aka Le Temps qui Reste.

I hear nothing.



Time to Leave

Facts and Figures

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 30th November 2005

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Canal Plus, Fidélité Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Romain, as Laura, as Jany, as Père, Marie Rivière as Mère, Christian Sengewald as Sasha, Louise-Anne Hippeau as Sophie, Henri de Lorme as Médecin, Walter Pagano as Bruno, Ugo Soussan Trabelsi as Bruno enfant, Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi as Sophie enfant, Victor Poulouin as Laurent, Laurence Ragon as Notaire

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.