Friday 9 July 2010

Leaving (Partir, 2009) a Film by Catherine Orsini

Leaving, or Partir in its original French title (2009), is a film co-written and directed by Catherine Corsini starring Kristin Scott Thomas as Suzanne. We are introduced to her character in the film as if somewhere mid-sentence. The film starts half way through the characters' journey and this is up to the viewer to realize as the film progresses.

Is this a film about second chances? Is it about redemption? Without wishing to spoil anything on this gem and with the sole intent of urging you to watch it, I can honestly say Corsini releases the narrative and its characters from any premeditated cinematic cliche. Everyone seems bare, vulnerable even.

What's the danger lurking behind every decision or every word said or unsaid? The ever present sensation that something is about to combust, to explode is effortlessly played with grace and a certain darkness by the exuberant Thomas, who seems to play the character as if she has seen better days, as if the party is over. But you are led into this chapter of her life and therefore we are made to follow through her next crossing.

It is a mature effort, a film for film lovers, for an intelligent audience. An audience who does not wish to be underestimated or patronized by a regurgitated, colored-by-numbers plot. It casts a direct light on its characters, almost like a documentary - if it wasn't for the added drama, passion and quest for atonement. But what is revealed and how, really seems to be under the characters' control, until they can't control it no more.

Catherine Corsini's official website (in French).

Kristin Scott Thomas and Sergi Lopez in their quest for release on Leaving (2009)

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In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.