Kristin Scott Thomas plays Suzanne, English by birth, wife of a rich French doctor in south of France, and mother of two teen-age children, who falls in love with a working class Spanish man Ivan, played by Sergi López, in this middle-age marital romance directed by Catherine Corsini. Rather a flaccid affair with an ambition to be a modern-day ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’! Strictly for Scott Thomas fans, yours truly included.
You really wish the 2009 French film Partir had more meat, or for that matter some sizzling bedroom scenes which the French are very good at churning out. The film itself is not very bad, somewhere along the line you fall short of empathising with Suzanne and how she is going about to claim her love. But you cannot find fault in Scott Thomas’s performance, she is more than brilliant. Or is it a fanboy speaking?
One word about Spanish actor Sergi López, who was brilliant as the El Capitane in ‘Pan Labyrinth’ (who got his cheek silted at the end). Is there a method in madness that he has recently decided to work with woman directors, and make love with women who are not his own age. In Mapa de los sonidos de Tokyo (Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, 2009), directed by Isabel Coixet, he sleeps with a very young Rinko Kikuchi, another doomed affair.
I think López is best when he plays sly villains, like Sneaky in Pretty, Dirty Things (2002).