Time to Leave (2005) Poster

(2005)

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8/10
We Die Alone
tributarystu2 December 2005
Ozon is a strange figure. Strange in a sense that actually makes him normal: sometimes controversial, sometimes authentic, but always a great analyst of the emotion's spectrum.

It becomes clear really early that the film will be more of a contemplative portrayal of death than a daring fight lead against it. And sometimes it's better that way, to take things as they come. Thirty one year old Romain isolates himself from his family and friends and deals with several stages of the whole "accepting death" experience. A so dreaded experience. Consequently, the film is distant and may seem tedious at times, but all the means serve their purpose.

"Le temps qui reste" (gorgeous title, I feel obliged to emphasize this) is a difficult film: homosexuality, solitude and death are themes which few can bear light-heartedly. Still, Romain's process of severing himself from himself is intriguing at all times and the film's final sequence is of a most sincere impact. It's about adapting to the idea of dying in a glacial modern society.

We are generally alone in this world and all we have is our family. And if we lose that, we are left with thoughts, never to be forgotten. Le temps qui reste.
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Le Temps Qui Reste
jovadewo4 December 2005
This film's main theme is such a cliché and so simple: What would you do if you are told that you only have 2-3 months to live? How would you deal with things? Would you fight, and do everything in your power to, perhaps, experience that curing miracle, or would you accept things, as a matter of course... and wait for death to come. This film really makes you think. The main character, marvelously performed by Melvil Poupaud, is not really a sympathetic man, is he? Or is he? Aren't you master of your own life, especially when you have a short time left... He obviously wishes to solve some "personal problems" (relations with people around him which he doesn't find as they should be) in an accelerated, black and white way. To create something clear and defined before dieing... Obviously his life had been a mess. But relations are also about giving and taking, and about accepting imperfect things in relationships. Throughout the movie you get more sympathy with Romain. The telephone call with his sister (whom he had told some unkind things just before) is moving. 'It isn't about you, it's about me". Didn't Fassbinder tell us "Each man kills the thing he loves"... Do you want to protect others by not saying you are going to die... This is altruism in an egoistic way, isn't it? The film is a melodrama, but in my case it made me think... And that's the purpose of a good film, isn't it? All the characters are well typecast and performed. At times the film is even moving, but a tearjerker it never becomes... It's not a new "Love Story". Romain's "Pardon", a sorry softly spoken, with nobody around and never addressed to the person it was meant to, was a moving moment in the film. Also the fact that Romain being gay (and his gay life style) is no theme for the plot in the film, is absolutely refreshing. Homosexuality should just be one of the many facts of life (in the lives of many). (Joris, Amsterdam)
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8/10
A tender movie about life, a feel-good movie about someone dying.
imdb-jeroen20 November 2005
The first thing that strikes me as very unusual about this movie is that the main character is gay, and that that is not the subject of the movie, not even an issue. I don't know of any other movie like that.

Having said this, let's leave the subject of homosexuality, just like the film does, and not scare heterosexuals away. Of course the subject of the movie, saying goodbye to life, isn't new, neither original. But sometimes it isn't the story itself, but the way it is told that makes it worthwhile. To my opinion Ozon is a very good storyteller. I think tenderness, and the love for people and for life itself must have inspired him a lot.

Some scene's could be seen as provocative and politically incorrect, but the way they are woven into the story makes them credible and the way they are filmed makes them just beautiful. Ozon has a way of filming sex scene's as what they are; a nice part of everyday life.

The movie left me moved, but not sad.
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8/10
Melvil Poupaud and the essentials
Pierre-Paris27 October 2007
Dying? Why? How? Do I have the chance to look at my own demise from where I'm standing and I'm given the chance, even if brief, to do what I can to arrive to the fatal randez-vous without a heavy heart. Is that possible? We live the question in painful, stunning moments of reflection. Melvil Poupaud's face is not merely beautiful but transparent. I decided very early one that he/his character and I were diametrically opposites and yet, I felt the communion, I was with him I sort of understood. I wept for him and for me, I wept for everyone I've lost and for all the ones I'm going to loose before I go. I've also decided that I like François Ozon very much. That his movies take me places in a brutally gentle way and I come out of this experiences with something new. Thank you very much.
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9/10
A beautiful cinematic experience
Fiona-3929 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film is an extremely moving experience. Ozon takes an unsympathetic, egotistical, trendy 'media' photographer, whose relation to the image is as superficial as his relations with his family. This character, played by Melvin Poupaud, who also played the main role in Rohmer's Conte d'ete (A Summer's Tale), is brutally told he has metastasized cancer and that his death is imminent. The film follows his journey. It does so with a care and a beauty that is marked by particularly beautiful shots- I would mention in particular the shots of the pink roses wilting; the children in the playground reflected in the café windows; the interest in old faces; and of course, the devastating final scenes at the beach. The interplay between this film and Rohmer's work is fascinating (recalled also through the actress Marie Riviere, who stars in The Green Ray, which also finishes with a sunset over a beach). Whereas Rohmer's sunset suggests hope for the future, and the inherent ambiguity of the image, Ozon's functions to suggest finality and closure, and at the same time, the fixity of the image - a photo, once taken, records for ever. The final moments are incredible - and by these I mean when the credits are rolling, and we hear the sound of waves washing over the beach. The inevitability of death and the cycle of life are transmitted to us through sound rather than image. Ozon's oeuvre is developing in all sorts of interesting directions and this piece points again to his place not just in the contemporary French cinematic landscape but his important engagement with European cinematic heritage (here Truffaut, Fassbinder, Varda, Rohmer, Bergman, to name only the most obvious references).
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10/10
Life and death can be so simple and beautiful
Pasky3 December 2005
Funny enough, I didn't expect this film to be such a great moment of cinema. I had read a couple of reviews, and most of them were rather lukewarm. I experienced this film like a soft punch in the face and the stomach, and I felt a kind of empathy with most of the characters (except maybe with the sister), because they all represent a problem in modern life. And the actors were so good at their job, without forcing it, that I didn't even think 'Oh wait, but it's Jeanne Moreau playing the part of...", etc. And there's even some humor: sometimes I laughed, and not because I felt ill at ease, but just because it was plainly funny. But it's not a comedy. It's a reflection about love, life and death. How those three can be simple, beautiful, and painful. A beautiful parable on life without any screaming, violence, shooting (like in 'Crash', for instance, which was also a beautiful film in its own way). Go and see it! It might change the way you look at life. If only for an hour or two...
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8/10
Another Francois Ozon gem
paulmartin-216 November 2006
Francois Ozon is one of my favourite French directors. His artistic renditions of the human drama contribute significantly to what makes French films so worth seeing. This is his second instalment of a trilogy about death that started with the emotionally enthralling, understated Under The Sand.

Previously he has covered different genres like comedy (8 Women) and thriller (Swimming Pool). While these films have found a wider audience, I find the dramatically subdued exploration of grief and mortality in Under The Sand and A Time To Leave much more interesting and satisfying.

In A Time To Leave, Romain finds his own way to deal with imminent death. Unlike most of his previous films, Ozon uses a male protagonist. He appears to be selfish and egocentric – not overly likable. Perhaps like an essay on the human condition, it is revealing to observe how he interacts with people and attempts closure on his 'final journey'.

The film has a bit of a wandering Zen feel about it. There is no sentimentality and Romain does not burden anyone. It appears that he wants to tidy up loose ends before his passing in an attempt to find peace within himself.

Legendary actress Jeanne Moreau, playing the grandmother, has as strong a screen presence as ever (55 years after her debut). It is only with her that Romain seems to open up emotionally, and we get a glimpse of his warmer side. These scenes were very moving and felt like the emotional core of the film.

Like Under The Sand, A Time To Leave doesn't seem to be making any particular point. Neither are evangelical or proselytising a world view. Nor are they gratuitous, contrived or flamboyant. Each of them is like another essay about the human condition, done with great artistry. There are no grand sweeping statements – just one person's story. There is such understated confidence, intelligence and skill in Ozon's direction. Highly recommended.
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9/10
A fantastic movie
ranarivelo8 August 2006
How someone can NOT like this film is beyond me. The emotions the lead character goes through feel completely genuine. This is one of the best movies about dying that I've seen. The lead actor is awesome, and the emotions and physical transformation he goes through are very realistic. This movie was out for about 2 weeks here in California and then it disappeared. Maybe it's too depressing. I don't know. It will make you think though, and occasionally, it will make you laugh, because when you know you have nothing to lose, you speak your mind, as the lead character does.

A great film.
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8/10
The mistakes are not important
MariaAmelie18 March 2007
After I read the critics (I was lucky I did it after seeing the movie), I felt like the people who say they're tolerant and modern were completely intolerant and conservative. They only saw the homosexuality and the nonsense story about a girl who can't have children with her husband so she asks a guest in a restaurant to have a child with her, and said it was just trying to shock the visitors. But I agree with those who say it was not the main point of the movie. I think it just tried to say that these people live on our sides and that they're the same as we are.

I accept for some people the movie can sound a little bit like a cliché or another story about dying. But for me the feelings were different. It was interesting to see a man who bears his secret on his own, because he can't open to his family and isn't brave enough to tell his boyfriend. Then he visits his grandmother and decides to tell her because as he says she's also close to death. When he's with her, he opens to her and also to himself. The scene where she confesses that "tonight I'd like to leave with you" was the most beautiful and most emotional for me.

Well, the story has it's mistakes, but maybe the plot is not the most important thing there. I just didn't care about what the director wanted to show, but about what he's actually showed. For me it was a story about a man who goes through the first shock, anger and desperation to the acceptation of the destiny with a smile on his lips.

I liked the movie very much and I think the actors did an unbelievable job.
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10/10
The Poetics of Dying
gradyharp30 November 2006
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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6/10
As soon as Man Is Born, He Begins to Die; Sometimes Faster than Usual
claudio_carvalho25 July 2013
In Paris, the thirty-one year old gay fashion photographer Romain (Melvil Poupaud) 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 (Christian Sengewald) and his family and is cruel with them. He travels to visit his grandmother Laura (Jeanne Moreau) 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.

"Le temps qui reste" is a French movie by François Ozon with a sad story about a young photographer that discovers that he will die very soon since he has metastasis. Along his last days, he is unstable and cruel but changes his attitude after visiting his grandmother. There is no clear explanation for his erratic behavior but who could foresee how a person will behave after learning that he or she has just a few more days of life? Jean Paul Sartre said that as soon as man is born, he begins to die. But the truth is very few persons are prepared for the end. The movie also has unnecessary graphic sex scenes between Romain and Sasha totally out of the context of the drama but suitable for a soft-porn. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "O Tempo que Resta" ("The Time that Remains")
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8/10
the grandson of "Cléo De 5 à 7" (1961)
dbdumonteil5 January 2006
"time slips away and the light constantly fades..." (the Cure, Seventeen Seconds from the eponymous album, 1980).

Here comes François Ozon once again with a long-anticipated vehicle and a prickly topic which has been used countless of times in cinema with varying results: a person who has an incurable disease and who's going to die soon. She's got only a few months, even weeks to live. How does she react? How does she live her last moments of life? This is the thrust of Ozon's latest opus "Le Temps Qui Reste" (2005) and it is a remarkable movie in which Ozon eschews what could have caused the fiasco of the film: pathos. There's no whiff of it in Romain's slow way towards death. According to his author, it is the second opus of a trilogy begun with "Sous Le Sable" (2000) and which will close with a third film about the death of a child. It's true that "Le Temps Qui Reste" has a few common points with "Sous Le Sable": both end with a sequence in which the main protagonist is standing on a beach but the difference between the two films lies in the fact that in "Sous Le Sable", the viewer and Charlotte Rampling weren't fully sure about Bruno Cremer's death. Maybe did he abscond, maybe did he leave Rampling whereas here we are absolutely sure about the terrible truth: Romain is going to die in spite of the words pronounced by the doctor aiming at bringing an inkling of hope. Besides, the sequence at the hospital is credible. A doctor has to tell his patient that there is a glimmer of hope although he pertinently knows the tragic exit. The sequence which comes after where we can see Romain sitting on a bench, looking around him also rings true.

So, Romain is a young photograph in his early thirties. He's homosexual and lives with his lover in a quite comfortable flat. His life shows all the signs of professional and sentimental success. But one day, everything falls apart when one day he learns that he has a generalized cancer. Where Ozon retains the attention is how he shoots the evolution of his main character. The author of the fabulous "8 Femmes" (2002) has once said that he didn't care about the New Wave (although he puts Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol in his straitjacket of favorite filmmakers). Well, I don't care for it either apart from notable exceptions. Among these exceptions, there's "Cléo De 5 à 7" (1961) by Agnès Varda, probably one of the most accessible movies of this movement in spite of the gravity of the topic. The topic is the same as "Le Temps Qui Reste" and the psychological evolution of Cléo is more or less the same as Romain's. Ingoing at the beginning of their tragedy, mature at the end as death comes closer. In Romain's case, Ozon presents him as an obnoxious, brazen and egocentric young man who only lives for his job. Then he has an argument with his family an evening (the sequence of the dinner is quite incommoding) and then with his lover. He decides to visit his grandmother (Jeanne Moreau) and his stay at her house constitutes the crux of the film. He finds himself with a person who lives the same situation as him. He tells to her: "because me and you we are close to death". In Varda's piece of work, it was a young soldier Antoine who helped Cléo to accept her disease and so made her fearless facing death because he saw death very close to him too (the context was in 1961 during the Algerian war, a "dirty war", the equivalent of Vietnam for the USA). In Ozon's flick, Romain's stay at her grandmother's altered him: he tries to reconcile himself with his family, his lover and is even ready to make a baby to a family (the young woman is played by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi who held the main role in Ozon's precedent film, "5x2", 2004). After that, Romain seems to have become another man, he has accepted to belong to the world that surrounds him and appears to be at ease and relieved amid it (see the last almost timeless sequences when he's by the sea). So, if the first part of the film was disturbing, the second one has a placating whiff. Romain's visit to his grandmother is the central and crucial moment between the two. Ozon's camera knows how to capture the situation, the feeling, the gesture, the look and the director has a real genius to let the what is left unsaid show through.

As Romain slowly but surely makes his way towards the adamant death, there are flashes of his childhood which arrive in his mind. Maybe, they help him to accept his own death. Moreover, it is often said that old people behave like children. In a way Romain also behaves like a child, at least in the beginning of the movie, then, there's still time to become a grown-up.

"Le Temps Qui Reste" is a small cracker which maybe won't cater for all tastes because of its thorny topic. But it has the merit to put aside formulaic or corny ingredients. As for Ozon, more power to him although it's very likely that like some of his fellows (Patrice Leconte), he'll still have to wait for a long time to receive the honors he deserves
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9/10
An evening on beach
Vincentiu2 September 2007
A film about life with the words of death. Poetic, subtle and very simple. A young man and his sick. The search, the shadows, the fear,the love, the refuges and pieces of duty. A film without great ambitions, strange and quite confession, exploration of relations with others and with yourself, beautiful images, gorgeous end and a fight against cold shadows. The presence of Jeanne Moreau in the skin of grandmother and the ways. A couple, a child and a beach.

And the time.

In some moments, this film is only a mirror. Or a basic game, mask of catharsis or "memento mori".

Same cliché, same search of essence, same final peace, same French air. But the taste of freedom, the look of hero, the sound of words, the beginning of end, the understanding are more different. Subtle different.
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9/10
Touching and authentic. Almost like the director's own philosophy of life (or death)
Mancic20002 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film is unorthodox of this director. As it goes, how emotionally authentic the story unwinds itself makes me think that the movie is to a certain extent autobiographical of the director as if he were in the shoes of the main character. Melvil Poupaud was a good choice of actor for Romain as he looks really like a private, cynical, self-centred and stubborn man of solitude. A genuine and touching movie. Personally would love it more if there are shots of the photos taken by Romain as he went along in the process of making peace with himself edited in the opening shots of the movie. Think this would be a nice enterlude for the movie and the photographs will serve as a penetrating theme throughout the movie.
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8/10
time to leave a great movie
sharathamm16 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I have watched only 2 movies of Francois Ozon, swimming pool and Time to leave and I have become a huge fan. 'Time to leave' is a great movie and more than that I would like to specify the excellent music which increases the powerful impact this film produces.The title music when credits roll in beginning ,the music when Ronnain photographs her sister and her child and the background music towards the end when at the beach when he faces his childhood self,the music is so touching in these scenes.Francois Ozon is not only a great director but also has a keen sense of music which many other directors lack.Even though the theme of this film has been beaten to death by Hollywood,Francois handles it without usual clichés associated with Hollywood and elevates it to true piece of art.All the actors perform well.
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9/10
A moving affirmation of a life
MOscarbradley10 May 2007
Francois Ozon's wonderful new film is remarkably free of either sentimentality or despair despite dealing with the most pessimistic of subjects, that of a young man dying of inoperable cancer. Romain is an extremely handsome and successful young photographer who happens to be gay though Ozon never makes his sexuality a key issue. At the film's outset he is told he is dying of cancer. His initial response is to tell no-one and to lash out, first at his sister and her children and then at his lover. We know nothing of Romain before the diagnosis, (except for some flashbacks to his childhood), other than that his behavior is almost certainly out of character. It is after a visit to his paternal grandmother, (a superb cameo by Jeanne Moreau), that he begins to find in himself an acceptance of his impending death and a reconnection to the world he will soon leave.

Romain is beautifully played by Melvil Poupard, who is virtually never off the screen. Ozon minutely observes Romain's every waking moment and Poupard responds with a wonderfully frank and ultimately very moving performance. As the film progresses he seems as if he is about to dissolve before our eyes, as if he is going to fade into oblivion. There are wonderful little touches. With his small digital camera Romain records images from his life almost always unbeknown-st to the subject. Is he doing this for himself or for those who will be left behind? Or both? He says he does not like children yet children and childhood seem to be a recurring motif in his final days. (He constantly sees and interacts with himself as a child). Of course, all of this has the potential for bleakness or cloying sentimentality. What is remarkable is Ozon's ability to steer clear of both. Nor is the film a cold and clinical portrait of a dying man but a warm, sometimes funny and always touching affirmation of a life.
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8/10
The proposition
jotix10020 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Romain, the successful fashion photographer, is a nasty man. When we first meet him, he is making disparaging remarks about what he thinks about the clothes he has been commissioned to photograph. He is also seen with Sasha, his gay lover, during a sexual encounter where Romain inflicts pain to his partner. During a family dinner with his parents and his unmarried sister, Romain is downright rude and cruel to Sophie, a sibling he had loved dearly during their childhood.

When Romain collapses during a shoot, he is taken to a hospital where a doctor has the results of the tests that were performed. It's clear there is something wrong with this young man. The doctor tells him about the inoperable tumor that is killing him and can't be operated. Romain's life begins spinning out of control as he must face a moment that will not take long to take his life.

Sasha leaves him because he can't take the abuse and pain being inflicted upon him by Romain. The job in Tokyo collapses and Romain must start taking stock of his life and what is going to happen to him. Since he doesn't tell his parents and business associates, he decides to go and see his grandmother. Although the news devastates the older woman, she shows an inner strength as she doesn't want Romain to see the way the news has affected her.

Before arriving at the grandmother's place, Romain stops at a rest stop where a kind young woman, Jany, engages him in conversation. She invites to visit again on his way back. During his return trip to Paris, he stops on the opposite side of the highway, where the husband of Jany works. Jany happens to pass by and goes to Romain. She has a proposition for the young man. Her husband is sterile and he can't give her a child. Jany proposes a no string attached sexual encounter with Romain, who doesn't agree to anything. Later on, while in Paris, and watching his health deteriorate, Romain has second thoughts and goes back to meet Jany with a counter proposal, one in which he wants Bruno, the husband to participate as well.

Francois Ozon does it again. He does wonders with this new film, that in a way, as others have commented, reminds us of Agnes Varda's film "Cleo de 5 a 7", in which a young woman must reflect on her life as the news of having contracted a killer disease will end her life. Romain too must take into consideration what he has done with his existence up to this point as he tries to make amends that unfortunately come too late to ask forgiveness to the same people that he has hurt with his nasty attitude. The only way he can redeem himself is by agreeing to give Jany what she wants most in life, a child, that will be, perhaps, the only positive thing Romain will have done in his life.

Mr. Ozon gets a splendid performance out of Melvil Poupaud, who as Romain makes a tremendous impression on us. His Romain goes from arrogant to being humble and kind as he watches his life come to an end. Jeanne Moreau plays Romain's grandmother with restraint. Ms. Moreau's character shows a strong woman whose life is near the end see her young grandson in quite a predicament. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, who was seen in Mr. Ozon's "5X2" makes a valuable contribution.

The hypnotic musical score serves the movie well. We hear themes from Charpentier, Arvo Part and Valentin Silvestroy in the background blending effortlessly with the action. The distinguished camera work of Jeanne Lapoirer is also an asset. Ultimately Mr. Ozon continues to amaze us with his vision and with his style.
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10/10
Ozon's Masterwork
dhlough23 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
François Ozon's films produce a cool admiration. From naturalism (Under the Sea) to visual sophistication (8 Women) – his work creates distance. This may be a "French thing"; their films move more naturally towards philosophy than drama. His stunning Time to Leave (Le Temps Qui Reste) has delicately meditative moments, yet it's hard to remain aloof.

This second of a proposed trilogy about grief is a masterwork. Ozon may be a cool observer, but there's no detachment in the story of Romain (the extraordinary Melvin Poupaud), a gay photographer with terminal cancer. We get little of his pre-diagnosis life – he seems to have always been a bastard – but we ride his volatile emotions to the end. He tells almost no one of his illness; pushes away his family, his lover; acts cruelly. Ozon neither glorifies nor excuses these actions. Yet the accretion of details as Romain hurtles towards our common end creates a tense empathy in the audience. We may disagree with Romain's behavior, but we understand his every exploit.

Ozon's screenplay flows with incisive scenes; one of the best involves Romain's grandmother (Jeanne Moreau), herself close to death. Better still is the director's handling of sex scenes: a brief, violent one with his lover after he has been diagnosed, another with a woman and her husband who've asked him to help them have a child. Movie sex scenes are perfunctory; when one has heat and acuity, real eroticism, they're exhilarating. Ozon's are more – they're resonant; the threesome in particular, because we're profoundly aware of what's at stake for all the players.

Slated for release in the middle of summer movie madness, Time to Leave is an anti-blockbuster. Who wants to see a film about the death of a gay hedonist when there are superheroes out to save the world? I suppose only those who'd like to understand what it is about that world that's worth saving.
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9/10
Stunning 'Time'
dhlough-12 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
François Ozon's films produce a cool admiration. From naturalism (Under the Sea) to visual sophistication (8 Women) – his work creates distance. This may be a "French thing"; their films move more naturally towards philosophy than drama. His stunning Time to Leave (Le Temps Qui Reste) has delicately meditative moments, yet it's hard to remain aloof.

This second of a proposed trilogy about grief is a masterwork. Ozon may be a cool observer, but there's no detachment in the story of Romain (the extraordinary Melvin Poupaud), a gay photographer with terminal cancer. We get little of his pre-diagnosis life – he seems to have always been a prick – but we ride his volatile emotions to the end. He tells almost no one of his illness; pushes away his family, his lover; acts cruelly. Ozon neither glorifies nor excuses these actions. Yet the accretion of details as Romain hurtles towards our common end creates a tense empathy in the audience. We may disagree with Romain's behavior, but we understand his every exploit.

Ozon's screenplay flows with incisive scenes; one of the best involves Romain's grandmother (Jeanne Moreau), herself close to death. Better still is the director's handling of sex scenes: a brief, violent one with his lover after he has been diagnosed, another with a woman and her husband who've asked him to help them have a child. Movie sex scenes are perfunctory; when one has heat and acuity, real eroticism, they're exhilarating. Ozon's are more – they're resonant; the threesome in particular, because we're profoundly aware of what's at stake for all the players.

Slated for release in the middle of summer movie madness, Time to Leave is an anti-blockbuster. Who wants to see a film about the death of a gay hedonist when there are superheroes out to save the world? I suppose only those who'd like to understand what it is about that world that's worth saving.
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8/10
Is it really a spoiler when it's about a guy who dies?
moutonbear2525 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
LE TEMP QUI RESTE Written and Directed by Francois Ozon

To a great extent, the premise of French director, Francois Ozon's latest film, LE TEMP QUI RESTE, reads like a daytime drama storyline. An attractive 31-year-old photographer is told he has an extreme cancer that has spread through his body. It cannot be removed and, though treatment is an option, he does not have a strong chance of survival. He has but a few months left to live. What elevates this film above the potential for clichéd melodrama is the way the photographer, Romain (played by Melvil Poupaud), reacts to this news. He has little time to resolve his life and relationships. He has little time to fully embrace who he is. Yet he does not make peace with everyone in his life, one by one. Instead, he avoids the whole damn thing. Only, as he avoids, he manages to find the foundation of these relationships and begins to understand their significance, how they have helped shape the man he is. He puts his life into perspective his way and finds out that all this time, despite his selfish existence, he has also been a part of something much bigger.

LE TEMP QUI RESTE is thankfully brief as no one wants to spend too much time watching someone die. It does however make the most of the time it has. When Romain first learns the news, he avoids sharing it with anyone in his life, from his family to his boyfriend to his employer. As he sits at a family dinner and people ask what is new in his life, it is painful to watch him say nothing, especially as he continues to withdraw. Poupaud's performance humbles Romain as he goes from cocky and assured to constantly being overwhelmed by his own grief. He looks afraid to say that he is dying, to make it real, to place that pain on anyone else. Instead, he buries it and suffers silently. You want so much for him to reach out to the people who clearly love him that when he doesn't, you just want to wrap your own arms around him. When he finally does share the news, his choice of confidante is calculated. He chooses to tell someone who can understand because, as Romain so plainly puts it, she too will be dying soon.

Along with Romain, the viewer has some resolution, some peace brought back to a time of chaos. Romain spends so much time convincing himself that the people around him do not need nor deserve to know about his condition because their relationships are so complicated. Only his solitude brings him the clarity necessary to remember how these relationships began. More importantly, these memories are the ones he associates most cleanly with naïve, unchecked happiness. With death imminently waiting for him, the search for happiness that he gave up on is rejuvenated when he sees how close he was to it all the while. Romain's memories come to him at random moments and their nature demonstrates the talent of Ozon as writer and director. They are simple memories that may have seemed all too simple at the time they took place but these memories went on to bring Romain closer to others and himself. And as the memories come more frequently, he learns to integrate them into his current reality. Thus when he goes, he goes having lived a short but full life.

Death is a construct, an inevitability, a mystery, a fear to face. In LE TEMP QUI RESTE, it is also a process that is nothing more than the last clue to understanding your life. In Romain's final moments, death becomes necessary to complete the journey, a journey that would mean nothing at all if it weren't ending to begin with.
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6/10
An Average Movie from A Great Director.
cinfan_dim23 September 2005
Le temps qui reste is the new film from the acclaimed french director Francois Ozon. The story centers around Romain, a very successful young photographer who finds out that he is suffering from a terminal illness. Romain decides not to inform his loved ones about his condition, and he sets out on an emotional journey where we get to see how the knowledge of his imminent death affects his relationships, his love life and his religious beliefs.

It is very difficult for films dealing with issues like these to be original and unconventional. Despite the fact that the film is filled with moments that prove that Romain is anything but a one-dimensional movie character, the end result is still something we have seen handled better many times before (most notably in Isabel Coixet's My Life Without Me).

Of course the film is definitely worthy of some merit. The naturalistic performances for one, capture the audiences' attention and stay far away from Hollywood clichés. The frequent flashbacks to Romain's childhood add a beautiful dreamy atmosphere to the film and furthermore Ozon's decision to be as politically incorrect as possible is very welcome. Surprisingly though, the film fails to ever be truly engaging especially when compared to the talent Ozon has shown in his previous films.

Seen at the Athens International Film Festival.
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7/10
Dying, slowly, too quickly, in a movie that is sometimes slow but absorbing
secondtake5 February 2010
Time to Leave (2005)

Besides being interminably sad, even when it has shreds of love and hope and genuine friendship built in, Time to Leave is also a tonic and a balm. It makes the worst of situations reasonable. Not good, not desirable, but imaginable, which is something, too. It's an absorbing movie at its best, but is often slow and a hair predictable, within the range of themes in films of our era.

As a movie, beyond the subject (which is what it is), there is a feeling of the ordinary even as the characters are often a bit beyond even extraordinary. The welcome spectre of Jeanne Moreau as his grandmother is great, and yet their relationship is tender to the point of incestuous. Maybe. And his love for his father, very touching, also trembles a little on the edge of beautiful liberalism. What I mean is, for all its touching, realistic touches, there are many moments that cut across the veneer that we are to believe. And it loses it's candid believability, leaning into an idealized sheen, without ever leaving it totally, into a fairy tale of some kind.

So I didn't quite settle into the whole experience very well, and watched with impatience by halfway through. Maybe his lack of denouement is ours, as well, but that reminds me of art school when people with bad art would say something along the lines of, "I wanted it that way." Director Francois Ozon may have wanted this steady trauma and despair laced with love and deflated by the banal, but he could have also wanted something that left us viewers more fully moved, entranced, enlightened, or even, alas, puzzled. I was touched, in the end, by my own feelings and fear of dying, and of being surprised by its coming too soon, and the movie did less to illuminate that as to simple serve as a reminder about it, leaving the work, and the awfulness, up to me.
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7/10
The Last Moments in a Man's Life
nycritic2 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Francois Ozon continues his exploration of death in LE TEMPS QUI RESTE (TIME TO LEAVE) with somewhat disappointing results. It all began with SOUS LE SABLE (UNDER THE SAND) where his leading lady, played by Charlotte Rampling, was a sympathetic character ripping apart at the seams by not accepting the disappearance (and death) of her husband, with whom she had a clearly loving relationship, I was given the chance to mourn with her and feel her impossible pain. Moments of imagined sexuality were also especially heightened, because I could believe she could mentally displace herself to an extent that both a potential lover and her ghost of a husband could be with her at the same time in an unlikely menage a trois. And that final scene on the beach as she ran towards an inaccessible image was emotionally heart-shattering: I thought I had seen the most devastating scene ever filmed.

In his most recent film, Romain (Melvil Poupaud), a fashion photographer in the vein of the David Hemmings character of BLOW UP, faints after a particularly unpleasant photo shoot. He thinks he has AIDS; the doctor informs him he has a malignant cancer and has a short time to live -- survival is less than 5 %. From then on, Romain -- already a difficult character -- proceeds to viciously alienate his sister by insulting her in a family dinner, his lover whom he first attempts to strangle in a heightened moment of sex and later throws out of their house with no explanation, and goes into a self destructive rampage in a nightclub. The only person whom he opens up to is his grandmother (Jeanne Moreau) who takes him in and briefly becomes a shoulder for him to cry on. Plus, there is a pretty waitress (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) who approaches him with an unusual proposal.

It's this proposal -- one involving a threesome not too different than the one seen in SOUS LE SABLE except for the fact that this one is real and does culminate in an uncomfortable climax -- that allows Romain to commit an act of kindness. Even so, this act is rather brittle -- he leaves his entire estate to his future son and in the process apologizes (sort of) to both his ex-lover and sister -- but never does he confront his issue head on. Ozon has one too many shots of Poupaud wallowing in self-pity, banging his head against a wall, and staring out in silence. Again, because his character is such a louse, it's too difficult to care of his fate even at the very end when the sun goes down and he goes to sleep... so to speak.

LE TEMPS QUI RESTE may sound like a bad movie, but it's not. It's almost always gorgeous to look at and has a daring sex scene that would make anyone blush. Flash-cuts in which Romain sees his younger self are one of the film's best moments, because they recall a time when Romain himself was just an innocent kid beginning to live. Other than that, this is one of the many gay movies that veer too close to restrained maudlin as its lead character goes down, unnoticed and uncared for. On the plus side, it's a quick flick -- under 80 minutes not including credits -- and doesn't linger too much in the schmaltz that would have made it a DARK VICTORY type of weepie.
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8/10
This time Ozon isn't playing
Chris Knipp1 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If you look at the last half dozen films of François Ozon, Criminal Lovers/Les amants criminels (1999), Water Drops on Burking Rocks/Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (2000), Sous la Sable (2000), 8 Femmes (2002), Swimming Pool (2003), 5 x 2 (2004), they've been witty, edgy, even probed mysteries, but there seemed an element of fakery, of playing a game, holding back. There were times when it was hard to believe any of it. Time to Leave/Le temps qui reste, with its heavy subject, tempts one even more to say, "This is crap." It seems to easily set up to be Important, and some have dismissed it as empty and glib. But that's not so. For the first time in Time to Leave, Ozon deals with home truths he might himself know or care about, and he shows unusual sympathy for his hero, chic young gay fashion photographer Romain (Melvil Poupaud, ideally cast, as we shall see) who discovers he's mortally ill. After Romain decides he's not got a chance to recover from his cancer and won't get treatment, he has dinner with his parents and Sophie, his sister (Louise-Anne Hippeau). He is cruel to Sophie, but in the car with his father (Daniel Duval), he is caring; he weeps. Ozon doesn't hesitate to provide wickedly sexy moments, as when Romain gets his young Germanic lover Sasha (Christian Sengewald) high on coke and chokes him as they grahically make love, then kicks him out.

In show business since the age of ten and the veteran of more films than he can count, Poupaud is perfect looking, with his thick, rich hair, his immaculate brow, yet has a cold, by-the-numbers quality about him that makes him a classic Ozon figure for this story. His lips are pursed a little prissily. His button eyes don't seem to look at anyone. You can't look away from him though: he has a presence; perhaps it's ego; perhaps it's purely his practiced ease on screen. Anyway, Ozon keeps us on edge, because his Romain isn't going to do the conventional things. He isn't going to tell people, he isn't going to make peace or say goodbye.

But he does go to see his grandmother (Jeanne Moreau) to tell her he loves her, and to reveal to her, and to no one else in his life, what's happened to him. They're such a pair, he says if only he'd met her sooner, he'd have married her. At a roadhouse, he talks to Jany, a waitress (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, a strong presence in a brief role). Surprisingly, she asks him to give her a child -- a chance for a legacy -- but he declines saying he's not interested in children. This begins to look like a twisted Calvary. Sasha is gone, Romain is growing more unwell and washes down his pills with vodka. There is a slight rapprochement with his sister, with Sasha, even with Jany and her sterile husband. He shaves his head and grows disturbingly thin, memories of himself as a child haunt Romain, yet things are more transgressive than solemn, and one has the impression Ozon doesn't quite know where to go with this, how to carry it to the end. But he has managed to bring the story of a death toward a new direction. And as slick and cold as he is, Ozon's dying hero, Romain, manages somehow to embrace life and to go out with class.
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4/10
Ozon's worst film
howie7327 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Following the disappointing 5x2, French auteur Francois Ozon felt the need to release this slight and poorly directed meditation on death. The biggest problem with this film is that it isn't a feature film. Had it been 30 minutes long it might have worked, but Ozon chose to stretch a thin premise beyond credibility. What should have been a film worthy to follow Under the Sand is really an embarrassing failure for Ozon.

Firstly, the film isn't that cinematic. Ozon is fixated on close-ups which belong to TV soap-operas rather than widescreen French cinema. The use of music is also obtrusive. We don't really care for the dying Romain. We may feel pity for him, but his stubbornness and arrogance make him an unsympathetic figure. Yes he is an anti-hero but it feels like a French cliché. Ozon also cuts away from emotive scenes as if they embarrass this film's high art cinema credentials. The reality is Ozon is afraid his material too sentimental.

The film's 77 minute length also glosses over many characters. Romain's mother is not really given a chance to show her depth. Moreau's grandmother role feels like the typical French diva. She brings too much baggage to the role and submerges Romain's presence in their scenes.

But perhaps the biggest problem of the film is the use of clichés. The sub-plot of the waitress and her husband is cringeworthy in its soap-operatic naffness and I was amazed Ozon even contemplated this strain. I also felt the main premise of the story was unoriginal - the life affirming nature of heterosexuality. Even the ending, which recalls Sand and 5x2, is a cliché with the setting sun suggesting death. A film that should never have been done, but perhaps a revealing insight into Ozon's eccentricity. All in all, a sombre soufflé.
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