Its not bad; story-wise, its simply as thin as its luminous star, The English Patient vet Kristin Scott Thomas. She plays Suzanne, the happy, stay-at-home mom and wife to Samuel (Yvan Attal, Rush Hour 3). Hes a successful doctor, providing her and their two children with everything they could need or want, but without losing sight of whats important. They are sweet to one another; he is shown to have no great faults that would crack away at their 20-year marriage.
Why, then, would Suzanne choose to throw it all away for a torrid affair-turned-relationship with Ivan (Sergi López, Pans Labyrinth), the ex-con construction worker whos been working on their property?
Director Catherine Corsini doesnt say. Known as Partir in its native country, the beautifully photographed Leaving reminded me of Adrian Lynes Unfaithful, especially when the catting-around Suzanne smiles in the car, thinking of her sexual misdeeds, much like Diane Lane did on the subway. Leaving also reminded me of Lynes Fatal Attraction, as Suzanne must be stricken with some sort of psychosis to explain her out-of-nowhere behavior. At least she doesnt resort to kidnapping and rabbit-boiling.
Some of its intended power is blunted by Corsinis decision to open her film with a tease from the end, before jumping back six months to tell her tale. Its unnecessary, and Thomas is captivating enough an actress to lure viewers into a story with her mere presence. Its just a shame you grow to hate her character. Rod Lott