Time Out


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

In its slow-grinding pace, the deception grows like cancer. Reggie Perrin (Leonard Rossiter) faked his disappearance all those years ago on televison. Vincent (Aurelien Recoing) fakes his job in Time Out. Reggie was hilarious. Vincent isn't.

How is it possible that Muriel (Karin Viard), his wife, has never asked for his office phone number? And when she travels to Geneva to see the apartment his father supposedly paid for, why is she happy to be fobbed off with a deserted shack in the mountains, surrounded by deep snow?

In the tradition of French realistic cinema, writer/director Laurent Cantet avoids cliché, camera tricks and sentimentality. Vincent's mid-life crisis, if that is what this is, appears doomed from the start and you want to stop him before he destroys his marriage or is arrested for fraud. But you can't. You have to watch as he cons money out of his old friends and becomes alienated from his children.

The film is well acted and well made. At more than two hours, you feel it. Like an alcoholic, gradually losing his battle against addiction, Vincent senses the walls closing in. Trapped by the lie, he waits for death (disclosure) or redemption (forgiveness).

The question is, do you care enough? Is there empathy for this grey man, sleeping in his car? Is dishonesty all invasive?

Now Reggie, he was different.

Reviewed on: 04 Apr 2002
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Time Out packshot
A businessman pretends to his wife and family that he has a prestigious job in Switzerland.
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Director: Laurent Cantet

Writer: Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet

Starring: Aurelien Recoing, Karin Viard, Serge Livrozet, Jean-Pierre Mangeot, Monique Mangeot

Year: 2001

Runtime: 134 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: France


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