Time Out of Mind, 2015.
Directed by Oren Moverman.
Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone and Steve Buscemi.
George seeks refuge at Bellevue Hospital, a Manhattan intake center for homeless men, where his friendship with a fellow client helps him try to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter.
I’ll admit before anything else is typed that my knowledge of Time Out of Mind was slim to none before my viewing and this was probably for the best. Nowadays you’ll get three or four trailers for a movie and by the time you actually get to sitting down to see it, most of the major segments lose their effect due to how many times the trailer has come on in the theatre.
One of the first things I noticed is the feeling of sheer bewilderment that Richard Gere’s character George Hammond has towards his standing in society. Seemingly unwilling to take a fresh look at his circumstances on the surface, you always feel that something is going on underneath his solemn exterior. A well judged and understated performance from Richard Gere is the centrepiece to Time Out of Mind with many other characters filling the table around it.
Often you’re watching the action through a door or window, which gives it a wonderful sense of displacement. We watch as the world continues around him, commonly found hearing simple conversations from across the street in a coffee-house or even hearing Handsome Family’s True Detective theme song from the building across from the shelter. This shows the hidden in plain sight class issue standing side by side in a small but effective manner.
Moments is what the movie deals with, whether it be a metro ride or trying to pick up a new social security card, it all happens in long lingering shots to highlight the passage of time and the struggle George goes through against both physical elements as well as emotional ones. In one of the few burst of emotions he shouts “we don’t exist” to his chatty shelter neighbour, played brilliantly by Ben Vereen. A few times I had to search the frame in order to locate George Hammond, bringing these words a visual representation.
A suffering daughter (Jena Malone) gives you fleeting glimpses into the past life of George and each of these meetings are some of the best you’ll find in the third feature movie directed by Moverman. You feel the weight of his previous life, although not much information is given in this regard. Reading the facial expressions, or lack of on Richard Gere’s face will tell you more than his words are likely to do so.
An intimate portrait of a man lost and nobody in a rush to find him, Time Out of Mind is a personal and often powerful showing that captures your attention.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★