Leaving (2009)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Partir

France, 2009.  Pyramide Productions, Caméra One, VMP, Solaire Production, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Cofinova 5, Région Languedoc-Roussillon, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Cofinova 3, Procirep, Angoa-Agicoa.  Screenplay by Catherine Corsini, collaborator , scenario consultants .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Kristin Scott Thomas plays the wife of a wealthy physician () who is looking to get back into her own work as a physiotherapist after years of raising their children. Her life is moving in a straight, successful path until the hunky Spanish construction worker who is building her home office () catches her eye and she becomes passionately obsessed with him. Not satisfied with merely an affair, she insists on abandoning her husband and family for this man, not caring for anything else now that he has completely taken over her senses. Unfortunately, Attal is not the sympathetic type and goes very far out of his way to make her regret her decision to leave, but no hardship (and she endures quite a bit of it) can keep this woman from pursuing what she wants. Catherine Corsini’s deliciously melodramatic film is ridiculous in its portrayal of fatal attraction (not to mention more than a bit judgmental), but it is also highly engrossing and entertaining. Scott Thomas gives a full-blooded performance that keeps the whole thing afloat, her beauty and charisma only increasing with the years and making her an even more fascinating screen presence than she was before. At its most predictable, the film is a breeze to sit through as we watch the disintegration of relationships turn to the most desperate of actions.

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999


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