Kristin Scott Thomas as Desperate Housewife in Leaving
In her recent English-speaking roles, 50-year-old, bilingual Kristin Scott Thomas has gamely endured the fate of most actresses her age, cast as the fretful mother of Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson in The Other Boleyn Girl and the pinched, sexless guardian of Aaron Johnsons John Lennon in Nowhere Boy. Her French projects, even one as overcooked as Catherine Corsinis Leaving, at least dont neuter her. KSTs Suzanne Vidal, a Nîmes homemaker married to imperious physician Samuel (Yvan Attal), with whom she has two teenage children, falls for Ivan (Sergi López, Gallic cinemas standby sexy prole), a Spanish ex-con remodeling a room in the blindingly white Vidal residence for Suzannes planned physiotherapy practice. In its first half, Leaving offers the delight of watching Scott Thomas expertly negotiate doubt and propriety, slowly giving in to lust; Suzanne and Ivans midday rutting feels truly emancipating. But the sequence of ridiculously desperate events triggered after Suzanne leaves her vindictive spouseforetold by a gunshot in the films flash-forward first scenecall for Scott Thomas to transform from complicated bourgeoise to unbelievable desperate housewife. In any language, the actress does what she can to best serve her scripts, even when theyre hopelessly beneath her.
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