Those That Remain

Those That Remain

Postby CAP » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:20 am

Well received French film Ceux qui restent from 2007 that I never got round to until now. Maybe not exactly tragic but incredibly sad story about couple who meet in the oncology unit, each with a partner hospitalised with cancer.

The stress of supporting a loved one who is probably gradually dying in even the nicest of hospitals draws them together and inevitably they are sexually attracted to one another, then feel guilty about it and try to deflect that to prop up eachother's vigil. The crunch comes when the guy's wife dies there, leaving him with a resentful teenage step-daughter who then decamps to live with her father, leaving him with only an empty house. Somehow he cannot bring himself to tell the woman he meets at the hospital each day of his loss and so keeps turning up there, pretending to still visit his wife, and so prolong his relationship with the woman which is now all-consuming. On the other hand, the woman's partner (not a husband, yet) sort of recovers, to learn to live with a colostomy bag (I think). Anyway with his stay in the hospital finally over the man and woman's little meetings must also come to an end and this neither of them can quite face. They end up in bed back at her place. The next morning he bites the bullet and says his farewell, still without telling her of his wife's passing. She goes to the hospital to collect her partner and happens to learn from the lady at the news kiosk there that the man's wife died a couple of weeks ago.

She can only go up on the roof (the getaway place he showed her) and try not to weep. He's at home, eventually trying to reconnect with relatives on his bloody mobile. Unbelieveably bleak ending, and not in the least like a Hollywood weepie. The stars are Vincent Lindon and the ever impressive Emmanuelle Devos.

I give it 10. It was directed by one Anne Le Ny who also appears in it as the guy's sister.

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