Time to Leave

Rated NR

Director François Ozon, who gained international fame for Swimming Pool, has written and directed a very sad and strangely singular tale of a young man’s death by cancer. The problem with all such stories is that they’ve been done to death, and Ozon can’t completely escape from the set pieces of the genre. Still, his dying man has a few traits usually unseen in the noble doomed, and his story has a couple of twists that look past the normal yearnings of the soon-to-be-peaceful. Its strongest point is that it portrays death as unrelentingly lonely, and it offers a view of peace that doesn’t rely on the warmth of family or a final act of reconciliation. And, if nothing else, its final shot of a man swallowing the sun is one of the most effective combinations of emotional manipulation and artistic ingenuity I’ve seen in any melodrama.

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