Time Out of Mind
The latest from writer/director Oren Moverman, Time Out of Mind is something of a rarity. It follows the activities of a mentally ill homeless man, George, played brilliantly by Richard Gere, as he navigates the streets of New York City and watches his daughter from afar. On paper, it sounds dangerously melodramatic; in practice, with Moverman at the helm, it is a quiet, sensitive mediation on one of the most continually ignored groups of people.
Gere’s performance is fantastic. For an actor who usually commands attention and drives the plot forward, as George, he blends into the background with surprising ease, and that is one of the most striking features of the film. Though George is undoubtedly the main character, it doesn’t always feel like it. The viewer never sees things from his point of view, instead merely an observer on the outside looking in, never quite gleaning the full story. What little is revealed throws into sharp relief how perilously easy it is to slip into such a life.
The film itself is wonderfully made. Stripped down to the bones with a non-existent score and minimal makeup for the cast, it all feels startlingly real. Moverman’s New York is convincing: there are rats in the streets and the shelters, and the sounds of the city are captured in each shot – wailing sirens, snatches of conversation – indeed, there are only a few scarce moments of silence throughout.
There’s no doubt, however, that Time Out of Mind will have its fair share of criticism. It is the type of film that requires the viewer to be completely absorbed to properly enjoy it’s every little nuance. Unfortunately it’s undeniably turgid at times. There are a lot of pensive shots, with George ambling about or sitting in silence. Though they certainly add to sense of aimlessness and his isolation, for some they will be trying.
Time Out of Mind is released nationwide on 4th March 2016
Watch the trailer for Time Out of Mind here: