The price of passion
Leaving, erotic melodrama, not rated, in French with subtitles, CCA Cinematheque, 2.5 chiles
IYour lovin’ give me such a thrill, But your lovin’ don’t pay my bills. I need money. — from “Money (That’s What I Want)” Suzanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) may not have the perfect life, but she has a life a lot of people would envy. She lives in a beautiful, art-filled modern home in Nîmes, in southern France. Her husband, Samuel (Yvan Attal), is a successful doctor, she has two nice teenage children, and she is remodeling an outbuilding on the property to serve as an office where she will resume the physiotherapy practice she left years ago to raise a family. If there are problems in her easy, affluent life, she does not seem particularly aware of them.
But Suzanne has something else too, something that propels her simultaneously into rapture and disaster. She has a midlife crisis. She hopes that getting back to her abandoned career will give her a sense of purpose. But through a series of circumstances, she develops a closeness to Ivan (Sergi López), a Spanish laborer with a mildly criminal past who is working on the office renovations. And soon that closeness ignites into a full-scale, ravenous, worldaltering passion.
Many years ago, a couple of friends of mine set out in an early attempt to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon. They planned the project meticulously, but two days out they were blindsided by a freak storm no meteorologist had seen coming, and they disappeared without a trace into the raging waters of the North Atlantic. This is more or less what happens to Suzanne, when an unexpected passion blasts her out of her carefully organized, well-ordered life, and the result is just about as devastating.