“an assuredly composed comingofage tale” Charles Gant, Screen Daily
In rural France, Elliot (Alex Lawther) the dreamy, militaryjacket wearing poet and his mother, Beatrice (Juliet Stevenson) are packing up their holiday home to sell. With his parents’ marriage on its last legs, Elliot begins to seek solace away from the house, in the nearby village where he spots bold, brash Clement (Phénix Brossard). The two strike up a friendship, though (on Elliot’s end at least) it becomes something far deeper.
Melancholy, delicate and breathtakingly shot, the film is selfaware of its nature: even Clement points out that Elliot is a bit of a cliché. What saves it from being a wellworn tale is that this is not only Elliot’s story. As much as the film is about Elliot’s journey, exploring his sexuality and sense of self, it’s Beatrice’s story too. With the loss of her marriage, Beatrice is left shattered, questioning herself and her decisions.
A promising debut from British director Andrew Steggall, and certain to become an LGBT classic, Departure is a true work of art and is not to be missed.
Natasha Furlong The Upcoming