Time to Leave (18) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

A curiously gentle, even uplifting film by François Ozon, who directed 8 Women and Swimming Pool - curious in part because it begins in a spurt of rage. Romain, a young gay photographer, discovers that he has only months to live, and sets about cutting all ties to the world - job, parents, sister, lover - in the most brutal manner possible. The only person he can tell the truth to is his grandmother (a cameo by Jeanne Moreau), because, he tells her, she is like him: she'll soon be dead, too. The second half of the film slowly finds a new tone: I'm tempted to call it "redemptive", but I think that would be jumping to a conclusion Ozon is eager to avoid; and, indeed, part of the film's attraction is a deliberate inconclusiveness, a refusal to tie up loose ends. I'm not sure the story is entirely believable, but it strains hard to say something beyond the obvious about love, sex and death.

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