Lisa Schwarzbaum
April 10, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Time Out

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
132 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/29/02
performer
Aurelien Recoing, Karin Viard
director
Laurent Cantet
distributor
THINKFilm
author
Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet
genre
Drama

We gave it an A

As Vincent, a middle-aged businessman recently unemployed and going to increasingly desperate lengths to hide the fact from his family in the profound psychological drama Time Out, French stage actor Aurélien Recoing manages to convey pride and shame, love and despair, resignation and liberation — sometimes just in the way he drives in silence.

Filmmaker Laurent Cantet, whose masterful feature debut, ”Human Resources,” was similarly inspired by the complex socioeconomic ties that bind in the workplace — as well as the oedipal knots connecting fathers and sons — piles the lies up slowly, with particular insight into the subtleties of manly self-reinvention: Vincent tells his wife (Karin Viard) he’s taking a U.N. job in Geneva, tells his friends he can invest their money for quick profits, and tells such natural stories about meetings he hasn’t attended and business meals he hasn’t eaten that they begin to feel truer than the life he really does lead with his wife and children. There’s piercing sadness, and fury, too, in this Everyman’s isolation, and Cantet is singularly skilled at evoking the universal condition of such tragic ordinariness.

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