Tuesday, September 8, 2015
A repost of my NYFF review of TIME OUT OF MIND which opens tomorrow in theaters
I’m very mixed about Time Out of Mind. I like the film, I admire what it’s trying to do, but at the same time it kind of just misses and drags on, to the point I walked out of the screening last Sunday at the New York Film Festival.
The film begins with a work crew going into an apartment to renovate it and finding Richard Gere asleep in the bath tub. He’s waiting for Sheila, a friend/lover/acquaintance who lets him stay there some time. The foreman (Steve Buscemi) want Gere out and he gets him out…only to find him back the next day. He finally gets Gere out and from that point we watch as Gere goes through his daily routine to survive, going in and out of shelters, selling coats he gets from Churches and interacting with various people. It’s all filmed in a style that makes it look as if we are spying on Gere as we watch from across rooms, tops of buildings, and through windows and doors.
It’s a stunning verite style that, helped by Gere’s sterling performance makes it all seem real….
The trouble is that after a while you begin to realize that not a hell of a lot is happening. I have no problem with that since that is his life, the problem is the films running time is around two hours which means it’s a lot of nothing. Somewhere around 70 or 75 minutes I lost interest and left. Actually I lost interest when I realized I was getting annoyed by the stars who pop into a film that is largely a real slice of life. I mean Gere is so good on his own he doesn’t need back up, and every time someone pops in it breaks the spell and you remember that’s Richard Gere. Yea their performances are good, but their presence breaks the spell and make you go – Hey that’s Ben Vereen with Richard Gere.
I know what the film is and I know what it’s doing, and I admire it, I just didn’t need to sit in the barn that is Alice Tully Hall to see it to the end. Frankly I could do that at home on DVD or Netflix when it appears there.
Time out of Mind is a good film with a great central performance, I’m just not too sure you need run out and see it right away.
A postscript of sorts:
I’m not sure about Gere being adled in the film. Yea I understand life on the street does that but there is something about it that gives a distance to the character that shouldn’t be there. We can’t fully relate to him since he’s not quite like us.