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Time Out (L'Emploi du temps) (2001)

  Directed by: Laurent Cantet
Starring: Aurélien Recoing
Links: Time Out on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Disconnectedness" - a review by pearly

Vincent (Aurélien Recoing) has been fired from his job. He has not, however, told anyone this. Not his wife, his kids, or his parents. Vincent spends his days driving places, reading the newspaper in the park, napping in his car. Occasionally, he calls his wife to tell her that he can't make it home that night; he has a late meeting with a client.

Why is Vincent doing this? I don't know. Perhaps it started out as an easier alternative to admitting to the people around him (and himself) that he is out of work. But it continues to snowball, and Vincent realises that, even if he wanted to, he can't back out of the hole he's dug for himself.

Time Out is very slow-moving and drawn out - not much going on. I must admit that I sat there for most of it just wondering "why?", over and over. It is clear that the audience was supposed to sympathise with Vincent; to understand where he was coming from. But for me, this lack of understanding of Vincent's motivations for leading a double life meant that I couldn't connect with him as a character. And, as Vincent continually alienates all those around him, I also found the resolutions (or lack thereof) to be quite disappointing. It just seems that nothing came of anything that had happened.

The only possible meaning I can take from this movie is that, if you do something unexpected - you don't take the regular path through life - your life will end up back on track. That it all evens out in the end, and that, overall, life is quite mundane, and nothing you do changes that (in the end). Not a very inspiring message!

A movie doesn't have to be uplifting to be good. But it does have to provide characters that the audience can connect with. Despite my lack of understanding, I can appreciate that Recoing did a great job with the character. He is quite an understated actor, and was able to play the emotions well. Some of the sets are also very beautiful, which provides some interest. So, overall, a nice try, but not quite there.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 12 Nov 2002

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Reader comments

  1. Phht. Screw Vincent. Save yourself the video hire, and just watch Neighbours, with the fabulous jobless adventures of David Bishop!

    It's on every weeknight, and it's free.

    A comment from nofreelist's own mino on Wed 19 Nov 2003 19:55 #

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