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Leaving (3 stars)

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Leaving

(15) 85 min

Catalan-born actor Sergi Lopez is making a name for himself as the least likely romantic lead in cinema. After wooing Rinko Kikuchi in Isabel Coixet’s Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, he’s now at it again with Kristin Scott Thomas’ well-to-do leading lady. Scott plays bored bourgeois housewife Suzanne, who wants to return to work as a physiotherapist now that the kids are growing up. Her doctor husband (Yvan Attal) illegally employs a paunchy, dark-haired Spanish construction worker (Lopez) to build an extension in their lush house in the South of France. Suzanne promptly falls in love with the construction worker and pursues him as a way out of her current ennui.

Director Catherine Corsini tries to take an even-handed approach to each character by showing how confusion and foibles leads to selfishness but it’s undone somewhat as, ultimately, the doctor comes across as the villain of the piece. He’s always treated his wife more like property than a partner. The patriarchal power position is reinforced as he uses his class position as a weapon against her new beau. Told from Suzanne’s perspective it just feels like nothing new is being added to the predictable two guys and a girl power shtick.

Leaving trailer

Leaving

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • France
  • 86 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Catherine Corsini
  • Written by: Catherine Corsini, Gaelle Mace
  • Cast: Sergi López, Kristin Scott Thomas

Bored housewife (Scott) pursues a builder as a way out of her ennui and away from her controlling husband (unlikely romantic lead Lopez). Corsini tries to take an even-handed approach to each character by showing how confusion leads to selfishness, but nothing new is added to this predictable genre.

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