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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.