Friday 9 July 2010

Leaving (Partir) review

Leaving (15, 86 mins)
Director: Catherine Corsini
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The imperious Kristin Scott Thomas stars in this racy French drama as a doctor’s wife who begins an affair with the Spanish builder (Sergi López - Pan’s Labyrinth) hired to work on their house. It’s an escape from her cold and distant husband, but her leaving him takes her from bourgeois ennui to poverty and increasingly unfortunate events. Details are quickly sketched and the whole thing is told with an economy and grace that only really tips over into melodrama by the time we get back to the heard but not seen gunshot that opens the film. But most of the praise must go to the astonishing Scott Thomas, who deserves enormous credit for keeping a deeply unsympathetic character real and worthy of our attention.

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