Going Away **Dir: Nicole Garcia. With: Pierre Rochefort, Louise Bourgoin, Dominique Sanda. 95 mins. Cert: 12A
This glossy French drama adopts an impossibly po-faced approach to material an American movie would have lightened with a few jokes, a spoonful of sugar, something: through contrivance formidable, it obliges itinerant Riviera teacher Baptiste (Pierre Rochefort) to spend Whitsun weekend with one of his pupils, and thereby rediscover his roots. Director Nicole Garcia strains to give this pablum social grounding, but hair and make-up overtake her: glamourpuss Louise Bourgoin – as the kid’s helpfully single mother – flaunts a stick-on shoulder tattoo in a bid to pass for blowsy working-class, while Rochefort offers little more than walking bed head atop stock Gallic stubble.
Going Away opens at London's Institut Français today.