Movie Review – The Time Being (2012)

The Time Being, 2012.

Written and Directed by Nenad Cicin-Sain.
Starring Frank Langella, Wes Bentley, Sarah Paulson and Corey Stoll.


A struggling artist meets his mysterious and wealthy benefactor hoping to gain a commission. As their relationship unfolds, he realises that all may not be well.

From the trailer for this film, it’s hard to know what to expect. Is it going to be a tense cat and mouse thriller? How about a moody reflection on how artists endure scorn and ridicule before they’re celebrated? Or is it simply a feel good film about a man and his many struggles? In short, it’s none of the above.

What we end up watching is the emotionless tale of an artist trying to be successful. I say emotionless purely because pf the fact that rather than feeling angry, sad or happy while watching this, I simply felt apathy and a skulking sense of boredom.

While trying not to be too dismissive, please try and imagine how tedious it would be to watch beige paint drying. Got it? Well that is the level of excitement that you can look forward to when you watch The Time Being.

In truth, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this film so cold and passionless as it’s not just one character that seems completely robotic. Almost all characters find it hard to register a smile and seem to have no investment in their lives whatsoever.

It has to be said though that the faceless characters in this picture do seem to play into the themes which the director is trying to portray. The basic message being that art packs more emotional impact that any man or woman can – a heavy-handed message at best.

While it is difficult to be overly positive about The Time Being, it does have its good points. The main area for praise is the art on show, some of which is truly impressive and the way it is captured on film is truly quite beautiful.

The other plus point for this picture is Frank Langella. While not a career defining role by any means, his aged face and story telling eyes save this film from being completely turgid. This however shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Unfortunately though, even Frank Langella can’t save this film from being a bit of a dud.

In short, weak and unfeeling dialogue combined with a poorly constructed story make this film mediocre at best. The one redeeming feature you could find is that there’s enough visual flair present to suggest that Nenad Cicin-Sain (the first time director of this piece) may yet put together a film that capture the attention of its audience.

For the time being though, there’s only The Time Being.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★

Ozzy Armstrong is a Stargate and Rocky superfan. Follow him on Twitter.

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