Leaving [Partir] Movie Review

This fascinating drama puts us in the mind of a deeply flawed person and makes us sympathise completely with her. This is no mean feat, especially when she does some seriously irrational things. But Scott Thomas is so good in the role that she really makes us care.

In southern France, Suzanne (Scott Thomas) is a wife and mother who, bored with her bourgeois life, decides to go back to work. But when beefy builder Ivan (Lopez) arrives to work on her home office, she starts flirting with him. This eventually turns into a lusty affair, and she decides to leave her husband Samuel (Attal) and teen children (Vidal and Broom). But exchanging financial stability for passion isn't easy; when money runs short Samuel tries to exploit her need for security. And things get very messy indeed.

The film's opening shot gives away its most shocking plot turn, which is a way of letting us know that this movie isn't about the storyline: it's about the people. And every character is complex and imperfect, making bad decisions and doing cruel things along the way. Director-cowriter Corsini plays with this aspect of the film, constantly challenging our own morality and perceptions.

And it's gorgeously shot by Agnes Godard, who almost subliminally gives us constant insight into the characters' motivations.

Of course, having an actress like Scott Thomas in the central role lifts this film into something unmissable. Even when the plot stretches credibility, her performance is utterly riveting. In another movie, Suzanne would be the villain of the piece, and yet we are always on her side, even when she does something horrible. Opposite her, Lopez and Attal are also excellent as men grappling with their own shortcomings.

Through it all, Corsini creates an intriguingly realistic atmosphere punctuated by moments of raw tension and wrenching dialog. And without ever romanticising marriage, she sharply shows how easy it is to take a misstep in a moment of weakness. As the film descends into desperation and humiliation, it begins to feel somewhat contrived. But the attitudes and issues it examines leave us thinking long after the lights come up.

Cast & Crew

Director : Catherine Corsini

Starring : , , , Bernard Blancan, Aladin Reibel, Alexandre Vidal, Daisy Broom, Berta Esquirol


Comments

Leaving [Partir] Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2009

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Guardians Of The Galaxy Head for Avengers Crossover

With the release of Marvel's latest movie Guardians of the Galaxy, rumours are rife about...

Guardians Of The Galaxy Head for Avengers Crossover

Interstellar - Alternative Trailer

Cooper is a pilot and engineer with a huge ambition to save the world. With little discoveries left to be made...

Interstellar Trailer

After 'Bang Bang,' What Are Some Of The Best Triple Threat Pop Songs?

The only thing better than one pop star on a song is three, right? How...

After 'Bang Bang,' What Are Some Of The Best Triple Threat Pop Songs?

Smokey Robinson - The Tracks Of My Tears ft Elton John (Audio)

Smokey Robinson has teamed up with Elton John on a new version of...

Smokey Robinson - The Tracks Of My Tears (Audio) Video

Reviews Round-Up: Critics Fall For The James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up'

The story of American funk, soul and dance legend James Brown is...

Reviews Round-Up: Critics Fall For The James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up'

One Direction Spearhead A Great 2013 For British Music Sales

Pop sensations One Direction were the highest selling British act globally in 2013. The...

One Direction Spearhead A Great 2013 For British Music Sales
Advertisement

Katy Perry - This Is How We Do (Official Video)

Katy Perry shows off her vibrant life in the colourful video for her new single 'This Is How We Do'...

Katy Perry - This Is How We Do Video

LeAnn Rimes Returns To Her Roots On Latest Episode Of Reality Show

LeAnn Rimes is on a quest to return to her roots, which means two...

LeAnn Rimes Returns To Her Roots On Latest Episode Of Reality Show

5 Seconds Of Summer - Amnesia Video

5 Seconds Of Summer topped charts worldwide with the release of their self-titled debut studio album earlier...

5 Seconds Of Summer - Amnesia Video


More recommendations

Advertisement