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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite
This is not a family film. This is a film about passion - raw, precious and life-destroying passion. It's exquisitely made, with a screenplay that's a model of minimalist storytelling. There isn't a wasted word or an insignificant short in the whole piece. See it if you can appreciate brilliant direction and acting - not if you want a fluffy formulaic feelgood number.
Published on 19 Jan 2011 by Celia Brayfield

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passion and madness
Kristin Scott Thomas is as ever excellent in this French drama of an unhappy wealthy housewife falling in love with the a Spanish builder. The development of the love affair is passionately told with some fairly explicit sex for a 15. I'st beautifully filmed well performed in a naturalistic style.

However without giving any spoilers, for me the plot lost it's...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Lendrick


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite, 19 Jan 2011
By 
Celia Brayfield "Eleanor Lavish" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is not a family film. This is a film about passion - raw, precious and life-destroying passion. It's exquisitely made, with a screenplay that's a model of minimalist storytelling. There isn't a wasted word or an insignificant short in the whole piece. See it if you can appreciate brilliant direction and acting - not if you want a fluffy formulaic feelgood number.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank god for Kristin, 26 Sep 2012
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
A mini series called Leaving was just on ITV. Based on the same storyline. Didn't have an once of the passion and brilliance Kristin Scott Thomas brings to such a beautiful story. I watched this on World Movies in Australia a few years ago and the terrible ITV drama has reminded me to buy this straight away. So glad KST can speak french!! A wonderful marriage of a beautiful actress and a rich culture. Please watch this.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph for Scott Thomas in this passionate drama, 18 April 2011
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
How many stories of love and passion and tragedy did Shakespeare's company of Englishmen enact as characters of other countries. Spaniards. Italians. A film like Leaving (Partir) could have been so trite as a UK production but it's the British woman who owns this film from start to finish.

Kristin Scott Thomas, so attractive, so beautiful in French films and so so talented. No bland erotic drama this; instead the full delineation of an overwhelming sickness of love, stage by stage, from initial flirtation to an insatiable need for the other person. Eros driving her on with whips and torches.

I loved the way the direction didn't try to manouveur us into taking sides. I felt sympathy for the errant wife as well as for the wounded husband and their children. The editing deserves praise too, no scene being too long and some fading out after less than a minute.

KST must be our best movie actress of the current era, dedicated to quality work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passion and madness, 26 Feb 2012
By 
Lendrick (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Kristin Scott Thomas is as ever excellent in this French drama of an unhappy wealthy housewife falling in love with the a Spanish builder. The development of the love affair is passionately told with some fairly explicit sex for a 15. I'st beautifully filmed well performed in a naturalistic style.

However without giving any spoilers, for me the plot lost it's way in the final third, straining credulity somewhat, leaving the dénouement less affecting than was perhaps intended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaving, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Another foreign language gem of a film - super acting and direction. The story is about a woman ready to go back to work, suffering a long and boring marriage to a man that seems to belittle and begrudge her. Well he's in for a bit of a surprise when she meets a local Spanish builder who has been employed to work on her house. The plot keeps getting better and better as the movie progresses. Great French film with English subtitles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downward spiral, 15 Jan 2013
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Kristin Scott Thomas is the upper class wife and mother full of bourgeois misery as she walks from her marital bed in suburbia in a flashforward,then a shot is heard.Her Spanish handyman,Ivan(Sergi Lopez),a former jailbird breaks an ankle halting her runaway car while working at her home.She drives him to Spain to see his small daughter, they become lovers.Suzanne is guilty about her adulterous affair,what it is doing to her family,but she is determined to act on her desires.Remembering Scott Thomas from I've Loved You So Long(2008),she's good at complex,ambivalent female protagonists.The camera stays close to the lovers from their 1st encounter and we get a sense of the stripping off of Suzanne's bourgeois propriety as she pursues the affair.She guiltily confesses to her arrogant husband but can't help herself rekindling the affair.Her husband Samuel freezes her bank accounts and uses his influence to prevent the couple getting work.SuzaThomas well conveys the abandonment to passion and misery. nne is forced back to Samuel before bolting again.In the Languedoc countryside,sizzling with heat, the adulterous couple make ecstatic love in a field.Desparate for funds they steal her husband's co-owned paintings while he is away.Husband and lover are are very simply portrayed,one a villain the other a stoic.Director Corsini reminds us of Truffaut's ill-fated lovers by using his scores on the soundtrack.As Suzanne becomes increasingly unstable the tale loses some credibility. Her husband subjecting her to beatings, bullying,rape leading to an overwound tragedy. There's a Laurentian theme at work of the kindling of love by lust and the hollowness of bourgeoise marriage.Scott-Thomas conveys the abandonmemt to naked passion and the misery this entails.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent French love story about a wife leaving all for her new lover., 27 Jan 2012
By 
T. BROOKES "Brookey" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I loved this film, as it tells a likeable story where you almost (purposefully?) feel for the cheating wife, portrayed by the captivating Kirsten Scott-Thomas.

Yes it is almost predictable from the start and throughout but this tale is told so well and easily, led by Thomas's power performance, that you can help but get sucked in and enjoy it.

The film focuses on the real grip that a new proper love can have and set amongst rural France the combo works a treat for any one with a small degree of world cinema tolerance. There are some great French films out there and I would argue this is one of the better love stories, praisable for it's modern subject which it keeps light and not too emotional or depressing (as I had feared).

Definitely do not leave this film on the shelf. Some of the reviews on here criticise its simplicity but I would argue that this is a refreshing change from other more arty films. Leaving is definitely lighter and more enjoyable than other type films, or Scott-Thomas roles.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good drama, and realistic...., 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Interesting to read the reviews written here on Amazon for this film. How some have felt the storyline unrealistic; how Kristin Scott-Thomas's character just wouldn't have behaved this way (so selfishly to her family through her passion with the Spanish builder), the husband wouldn't have been so possessive and unfeeling towards her, her children wouldn't have been so dismissive of her in the case of the daughter, and so understanding in the case of the son. I can only assume these reviewers haven't experienced a failed marriage or are under fifty, and haven't had the experience of watching the marriages of close friends/relations go down the pan. Oh, and to the reviewer who thinks husbands shouldn't be able to lock down their wife's finances in this way, remember it is set in France, not the UK (the divorce laws are quite different), and anyway I don't think she's had too bad a life so far.... This film accurately shows how one marriage, in an instant, can be set on a crash course. I found all the actors in this film top-notch, and the storyline eminently believable. In fact, after a bit of googling, there seemed a faint whiff of biography in it, but that's for you to seek out. A challenging film to watch for me, and will be so for many others, but definitely a quality one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a film to discuss more than to enjoy, 25 May 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Unlike some reviewers I certainly thought this was well acted and I had no problem with the script. In fact the pacing is rather good, not getting the relationship off the ground too quickly or easily, and finding a good pretext. The attraction seemed to surprise them both; certainly you didn't feel it was contrived in a Confessions of a Window Cleaner kind of way! I thought the love between them gave the film something you could enjoy, as it did convey the tenderness and the elation, with a sense of the woman's perspective, which was refreshing. The explicitness had something quite different from the standard thriller shot through male eyes (and was a lot better). The casting is superb, as Sergi Lopez is very good at making this type of character immensely sympathetic and he contrasted brilliantly with the elegant refinement of Kristin Scott Thomas, fully bearing out the old adage that opposites attract.

For me the husband was unsympathetic, even from the first moments where he seemed to be asserting his power over people who were working for him, with a slightly patronising comment to his wife about her proposed physio practice, and a wholly unnecessary repeating of her offer of coffee, which seemed to be his way of rubber-stamping it, of asserting his control. There are just too many men like this, especially when they have power at work and financially in the home. Everything he does when the affair comes to light is horrible, treating her merely as a possession, and feeling mainly wounded pride, made worse by the lover's social inferiority. My impression was that the director had little time for him, and he ends up really being nasty without any sense of sadness or understanding. The melodrama is justified in that an extreme case makes the points better. The film really seems to draw attention to how a woman can be completely controlled by a husband who may not be at all nice when the gloves come off, and that the years spent bringing up children won't help her if he is well connected. I found this shocking, and it draws attention to how the law needs to be changed to prevent such awful scenarios from being possible. The only weakness is perhaps the role of the children, particularly her daughter, who strongly resents her mother - quite selfishly, because she doesn't think her mother has any right to fulfilment - but nevertheless this would give the mother pause and would be in her thoughts more, surely, than seemed to be the case here? The unpleasantness of much of the film also means that in the end it is more of a tract than a film in the fullest sense - there is little poetry except in the sexual rapture. This makes it feel a bit like being forced through a tunnel with no escape. But it is an important film nevertheless, and the central couple do stick in the memory, their final doom suggested by a siren heard in the midst of the most idyllic scenery. Perhaps it is a Brief Encounter for now, with legal ramifications to the fore - but a real feeling of staking everything on love as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional honesty, 16 Jan 2013
By 
Friend of Dorothy (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leaving [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
What's make a great performance great? In a film like this, total emotional honesty is the key, because without it the fairly routine plot would drag the production down to the level of mediocrity.

KST is remarkable in this film because every aspect of her performance is completely believable. At no point did I feel she was 'acting'. Compare and contrast with Tilda Swinton in I Am Love, a film with a similar plot and central premise: bourgeois wife trapped in a loveless relationship finds love and passion with a man from the lower classes before her marriage disintegrates with disastrous effect. At points, Swinton's largely brilliant performance shades into melodrama. This never happens with KST in Leaving. Every aspect of her acting is true, which makes this one of her greatest roles.
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Leaving [DVD] [2009]
Leaving [DVD] [2009] by Catherine Corsini (DVD - 2010)
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