Let’s be honest: When it comes to moviemaking, nobody really understands the French and their tastes in the matter (but then again, the same could be said fur Dutch and Belgian movies). How some of their movies ever could be so successful internationally is a minor miracle when other movies are just so downright not of this Earth that they completely elude someone not familiar with the latest Parisien inside gossip… Personally of course I have always had a slightly natural inclination towards their movies, even the odd ones, being a great fan of French music and partially their lifestyle, but this time around I’m having a slight "So what?" moment as well. Not that Le temps qui reste (which means the time that remains rather than time to leave, as the US title suggests) is actually bad, it just doesn’t leave a particularly deep impression, either. It feels rather hollow, which could of course be intentional to reflect the main protagonist’s own emptiness, but it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable nor does one ever take any interest in anyone else involved in the matter. You just don’t care what happens next and the film is just to busy trying to be different when it isn’t. Sure, it has some bold scenes in it, but the whole thing just doesn’t fit, mainly because it falls back on this "you need to make peace with yourself and everyone else" nonsense, when it couldn’t be less believable given the kind of person being portrayed. It also makes a second mistake by trying to cram all its big gestures into a mere 80 minutes without ever exploring or questioning the motivations behind them. So for what it’s worth, this is not a movie you can’t live without. I thought I had to see it because it received good reviews on festivals, but as the matter illustrates, that, just like the Oscars, is not necessarily always a sure guide, either….
Le Temps qui reste