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3.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (I ve Loved You So Long, Four Weddings and a Funeral) delivers another acclaimed performance in the passionate drama Leaving. When stay-at-home mom Suzanne wants to return to work, her husband agrees to remodel a garage to serve as her office. Ivan, a sexy Spanish builder, enters their lives and changes them in ways no one could have expected.

Suzanne and Ivan are irresistibly drawn together by an erotic passion that threatens to destroy her marriage, her family and everything she holds dear. Her husband will stop at nothing to destroy her first. In this thrilling romance, everyone pays a price for happiness.


Kristin Scott Thomas has transformed from the ice queen of British cinema to a woman of torrid passions in French films--and Leaving may be the most torrid yet. Suzanne (Thomas) leads a pleasant but stale upper middle-class life, with two teenage children (demanding and unappreciative, as all teenagers are) and a slightly pushy husband, Samuel (Yvan Attal, My Wife Is an Actress). She has a fling with a Spanish handyman named Ivan (Sergi López, Pan's Labyrinth) that, to her surprise, turns into an overwhelming passion. She can't bear to be without Ivan and decides to leave Samuel… a decision that slowly disintegrates her life. The strength of Leaving lies not in the plot, which holds no radical surprises, but in the vitality of Thomas's performance (particularly striking is a scene in which Suzanne, playfully bantering with Ivan, suddenly discovers she's in deeper emotional waters than she knew) and the cool eye writer-director Catherine Corsini casts over the events. The movie lures you into sympathy with Suzanne, yet there's always something a little unnerving about her, the sense that her mad love might have more madness than love. Thomas's career in France (including Tell No One and I've Loved You So Long) has given this superb actress a new life. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi Lopez, Yvan Attal, Bernard Blancan, Aladin Reibel
  • Directors: Catherine Corsini
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EI2NUO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,535 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Scott-Thomas gets a chance to expand beyond her normal range of roles, and does so magnificently - here showing how a middle-aged woman can become once again a young girl full of hormonal enthusiams. Frankly it's a delight to see this accomplished actress in a role that permits her to portray a far more passionate and naive character, sex scenes and all.

The plot is basic: woman in a dull marriage falls for a builder, has an affair, confesses to her husband, can't let go of her desire to continue the affair... The point is not the plot but the very human behaviors, reactions, and pain that is consequential to the act. No one escapes unscathed. The movie is like a Dutch painting - everything is finely observed, on a small scale, and intensely human.

There's no point in judging the behavior of the various characters - this isn't a medieval morality play. It's a study of an accidental explosion that occurs in the lives of perfectly normal people living mundane lives. What matters is how accurate, how honest, and how involving the study manages to be. And this study manages to be extremely good indeed. We can watch, knowing that it's all going to end badly yet appreciating the transient pleasure experienced by the lovers even as they destroy those around them. Watching, we can know that thoughtlessness leads too often to low-quality outcomes yet we enjoy the sureness of touch exhibited by the cast and director. We can know that temporary infatuation is no real basis for an adult relationship, yet we can remember our own jeunesse d'esprit from all those years ago - before we discovered that actions inevitably have consequences.

It's sad to watch a grown woman behave in a way guaranteed to lead to ruin, but at the same time it is a fascinating and engrossing spectable.
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Format: DVD
Suzanne decides to resume her physical therapy career after 15 years, now that her two children with rich doctor Samuel are almost grown, so Samuel hires Spanish handyman Ivan to convert a shed into Suzanne's new workspace. While Samuel treats the working class ex-con with contempt, Suzanne quickly bonds with soulful Ivan, and the two quickly find themselves falling in love.

None of this is treated lightly by the film. Both Suzanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Ivan are seen fighting their feelings throughout the film's first act. The obvious attraction, as well as the conflict these two middle-aged adults have about these feelings, is written all over their faces. The chemistry between the two characters is not just erotic ... it's clear that these people share a deep affection for one another. When the two finally consummate their relationship, it's not an act of animal passion, but of tenderness.

Ivan, although romantic, is too much of a realist to expect Suzanne to leave her rich husband and children for him. So it's Suzanne who takes the initiative. In a shocking moment of clarity, she confesses to her husband that she's fallen in love and plans to leave.

Strangely, despite being a story that begins with infidelity, Samuel is the character who emerges as the true monster in the film. Instead of displaying sadness and grief over the loss of his wife, he reacts more like a toddler when you've taken away his favorite toy. At first he throws temper tantrums, becoming violent and verbally abusive, "forbidding" her to leave. In these scenes, it's more clear than ever why, despite the financial security, Suzanne would want to leave this man ... he really sees her as nothing more than another possession and status symbol.
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Format: DVD
I think that I put this title on another film review that I wrote recently...I don't recall which one. In any case, I think that the strong performance of Kristin Scott Thomas makes this film watchable. She gives a character who is somewhat unbelievable and not all that sympathetic, so much life and humanity that we do believe her and root for her. At least I did.

It's set in France and Spain so it's visually delicious. The supporting cast is mixed; Yvan Atta makes a wonderful bad guy. Sergi Lopez, who plays the man she falls in love with, didn't really win me over with his charms. He is physically large, as opposed to Atta and from the many sex scenes we get the message over and over that he's a much more energetic lover than her husband. But other than that, I didn't see anything to motivate her to go the extremes that she did for him. And, back to KST--she is basically too sane and balanced a human being to play crazy and she had to be crazy to do what she did. If the story had given us a sense of some tragic crack in her psyche that would make her later actions credible, it would have been a better film. She was a physiotherapist, a healer, who, presumably would have more sense than to self-destruct the way she did. Likewise with her husband. He was shown to be a snob in the beginning but we don't see the great nastiness that he shows later.

I saw this film the same day that I saw "Mademoiselle Chambon" another French film with a similar theme. An upper-middle class, educated woman falls in love with another hunky construction worker. In that case it's the man who is married with a family, but the dilemma is the same. "Mademoiselle Chambon" is a much better made film.
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