Romain is a very successful fashion photographer who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. He copes by being cruel and nasty to those he loves, until a visit with his grandmother changes his outlook. But, his boyfriend's moved out, now what?
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In Paris, the thirty-one year old gay fashion photographer Romain learns that he has a terminal cancer and his chances with the chemotherapy are the least. His choice is to live the rest of his life without treatment. He hides the truth from his lover Sasha and his family and is cruel with them. He travels to visit his grandmother Laura and has a small talk with a waitress. He spends a couple of days with Laura and he meets by chance the waitress again that asks him for an unusual favor. Romain returns to Paris and changes his attitude toward the rest of his life. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
François Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks, 8 Women, Swimming Pool, 5X2) is one of the most fascinatingly talented French directors on the scene today. His films have a simplicity, a direct approach to the mind and the heart, and an extreme respect for both his actors and his audience - factors that allow him a means for communication that is rare and proves he has few equals. In LE TEMPS QUI RESTE (Time to Leave) he addresses that earth-shattering moment of being informed that death is imminent and shows us how one character copes with that information and how it changes his remaining days and his history of relating to others.
Romain (Melvil Poupaud) is a handsome and successful fashion photographer who is gay, has a lover Sasha (Christian Sengewald), but is somewhat estranged from his family. For some reason he cannot relate to his pregnant sister Sophie (Louise-Anne Hippeau) despite his mother's (Marie Rivière) pleading and his father's (Daniel Duval) distance. During a fashion shoot Romain faints, is taken to the doctor (Henri de Lorme) who informs him he has metastatic cancer for which there is little hope (except for chemotherapy and radiation therapy) that he will live past a few months. Romain opts to go without treatment and begins to face his remaining life with silent gloom. After a very sensuous sexual encounter with Sasha (Ozon holds nothing back in depicting this!), Romain decides to quit his job, tells Sasha to leave, separates from his family, and visits his beloved grandmother Laura (Jeanne Moreau, as exciting an actress as ever!) who shares her philosophy of living and dying and bonds even more closely with the grandson who mirrors her own life. Her sage wisdom is what grounds Romain.
Romain, alone, travels about France, meets a sweet couple in a café - Jany (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) and her husband Bruno (Walter Pagano) who are unable to have children - and after consideration Romain consents to comply with their request to impregnate Jany but only if Bruno is part of a ménage a trois in the process. The couple discovers Romain is dying after Jany becomes pregnant and Romain for the first time is able to show tenderness in his relationship with them. Somewhat changed in outlook Romain returns home, has a tender talk with his father who accepts his son's sexuality, attempts a reconciliation with Sasha unsuccessfully, and even responds to a letter from Sophie. His missions completed he travels to the ocean where the film ends in one of the most beautifully subtle, tender and genuinely realistic ways.
In every way this film is satisfying. The actors are to the person excellent with Melvil Poupaud, Jeanne Moreau and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi particularly outstanding. But the kudos go to writer/director Ozon who once again proves that his enthusiasm for his field of art is boundless. He is one of the more important figures in cinema today. A brilliant, quiet, immensely satisfying film. Grady Harp
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