Home alone

TIME OUT OF MIND, drama, not rated, The Screen, 2 chiles

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES -

Oren Mover­man is a screen­writer with a few pretty good cred­its (in­clud­ing 2007’s I’m Not There, and this year’s Brian Wil­son biopic Love & Mercy) to his name. But what he re­ally wants to do is di­rect. He’s done it be­fore, helm­ing his own screen­plays ef­fec­tively in

The Mes­sen­ger (2009) and less so in Ram­part (2011). For Time Out of Mind, Mover­man was en­listed to re­write and di­rect by star/pro­ducer Richard Gere, who has long owned the rights to the prop­erty orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by screen­writer Jeffrey Caine (The Con­stant Gar­dener).

There may be a rea­son Time Out of Mind has been kick­ing around so long. The story of Ge­orge (Gere), a home­less man who has lost his bear­ings and a few of his ball bear­ings af­ter a fam­ily tragedy, is not fer­tile dra­matic ma­te­rial. Ge­orge doesn’t talk much, and he doesn’t do much, thus rob­bing the movie of most of its op­por­tu­nity for di­a­logue and ac­tion. He sits and stares a lot, vaguely aware of the pass­ing pa­rade of sights and sounds of New York City as it swirls around him. His sit­u­a­tion is poignant and his plight is des­per­ate, but his movie is stag­nant.

Mover­man and cin­e­matog­ra­pher Bobby Bukowski shoot a good deal of the movie through glass. We spend a lot of time look­ing at Ge­orge through win­dows. This may be in­tended to em­pha­size his iso­la­tion, but it ends up call­ing at­ten­tion to it­self as a de­vice. The ex­treme long shot, where we get Where’s Waldo? op­por­tu­ni­ties to pick Ge­orge out on a crowded city street, serves the same pur­pose, with the same re­sult.

It’s not till past the half­way mark of this two-hour movie that the gar­ru­lous Dixon (Ben Vereen) shows up, bring­ing an in­fu­sion of much­needed life and chat­ter to the ta­ble. He’s a fel­low denizen of the home­less shel­ter where Ge­orge has found a bed, and he at­taches him­self to his new friend like a talk­ing bar­na­cle, help­ing Ge­orge nav­i­gate the bu­reau­cracy of home­less­ness, and draw­ing out of him the few hints that we ever get as to how he has fallen through the cracks of so­ci­ety. Kyra Sedg­wick con­trib­utes an in­ter­lude as a home­less woman with a dif­fer­ent kind of com­fort to of­fer, and Jena Malone (The Hunger Games) is the es­tranged daugh­ter who wants noth­ing to do with Ge­orge.

Time Out of Mind is a noble at­tempt at ex­pos­ing a des­per­ate sub­ject. Gere is fully in­vested in the hope­less­ness of the char­ac­ter, though you can’t help oc­ca­sion­ally think­ing he might be Jamie Di­mon on a Ca­sual Fri­day at JPMor­gan Chase. The film­mak­ers’ com­mit­ment to ex­pos­ing the mis­er­able anonymity of the home­less may be ad­mirable, but it isn’t cin­e­matic. — Jonathan Richards

Through the pane: Richard Gere

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.