When school teacher Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort) is asked to look after student Mathias (Mathias Brezot) for the weekend, his life takes an unexpected turn. Attempting to escape a troubled past, Baptiste remains hopeful of a bright future. He thinks he finds it when returning Mathias to his single mother Sandra (Louise Bourgoin). Entranced with each other, Baptiste and Sandra begin to fall in love. When unexpected trouble surfaces, Baptise must choose between his new relationship or face the demons he has spent a lifetime avoiding.
This absorbing movie examines reconciling the past and moving on. Both Baptiste and Sandra are aimless wanderers through life – never staying in one place for too long. This enables them to grasp the mirage of moving on when it in fact traps them from a clear future. Only by confronting their old regrets can they truly thrive, which is something Sandra especially needs to do for her son’s sake.
Making Going Away continually engaging is the reaction of others towards the trio. Holding the key in locking their issues, those from their past use this power in different ways. Director Nicole Garcia handles events with sensitivity with not every question answered. Life is never that simple with the characters’ complexities surfacing naturally without false dramatic histrionics. Their journey feels completely authentic with old burdens some fail to ever really discard.
It’s been quoted that “those living in the past are condemned to no future”. Going Away’s characters attempt to break free of this trap in this enthralling film about finally learning how to let go.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 8