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In Hollywood terminal illness can be a learning experience, especially if Julia Roberts is involved. But, in stark contrast, French director François Ozon's latest exercise in elliptical minimalism coolly records the last days of a young photographer (Melvil Poupaud) who, when diagnosed with incurable cancer, chooses to die alone. Brutally snipping the ties that bind him to family, friends and his gay partner, the only person he confides in is his aged grandma (Jeanne Moreau) - reasoning that, as she's close to death herself, she'll understand what he's going through.

 

The second in Ozon's trilogy on the subject of mourning, Leave charts its hero's acceptance of his plight without softening his prickly character. Though sentimentality creeps in towards the end, it remains an honest look at a subject we all have to face.

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