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Rated NR · 2006
The second (after the very good Under the Sand) in a projected trilogy by François Ozon examining death from different angles, Time to Leave blows a fresh, skeptical wind through fairly corny melodramatic territory while keeping faith with the operatic emotions of the genre. Told that he has only a short while to live, Romain (the sensuously androgynous Melvil Poupaud), a successful gay fashion photographer and coke-snorting narcissist with a cruel streak, struggles for a way to prepare himself for the end. No consumptive hero, he stumbles into coping strategies -- an acceleration of his customary risky behavior and ambivalent mind games with his family and boyfriend -- that signal an extension of his selfish life and hint at self-transformation. As always with Ozon, there's something undercooked and overblown about the emotional life of this movie, and as Romain's boho grandmother, Jeanne Moreau seems shoehorned in for a diva cameo. Yet the same quiet ecstasy that made the final moments of Under the Sand so moving works here too, inspiring joy and naked grief in equal measure.

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