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The Time Being (2012)

 -  Mystery  -  23 July 2013 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 494 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 4 user | 19 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

An artist meets a mysterious and wealthy benefactor and their relationship is not what it appears to be.

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An artist meets a mysterious and wealthy benefactor and their relationship is not what it appears to be.

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Mystery

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Not Rated
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23 July 2013 (USA)  »

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not much here after all is said and done
2 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frank Langella would very, very much be the reason to see this film, he doesn't disappoint...its the film around him that disappoints. Playing his somewhat usual unusual role of enigmatic rich man asking mysterious favors of a somewhat struggling younger person while hiding his own questionable agenda (see also "The Ninth Gate" and "The Box" among others.) Langella shows up on screen maybe ten minutes in snapping at his maid to go the pharmacy after she literally just said she was going there--- He then follows up with the memorable one liner "Life's a lot less complicated ever since I stopped hearing women talk" Its the kind of irresistible barbed one liner that i love hearing come out of Langella in movies exactly like these, and as he went about describing just exactly what he wanted from the young painter whose time and energy he solicits, I was more then wrapped up in the whole mysterious vibe of the film and quite optimistic.

Unfortunately the film as a whole seems a lot more interested in the process of painting and saddling Langella with somewhat ominous monologues with grave overtones about the importance of living while doing what you love while you can. I mean the writer/director gives Langella a good reason for doing that but its possible it could've been done in a somewhat less ham fisted way. While the creation of the various canvases that lead Wes Bentley gets to somewhat lovingly paint are tied in nicely with the main plot line, and the repeated close-ups of paint mixing with water are a neat visual motif (i suppose) its definitely not what i went to this movie to see, but its possible that I went to see this because I just wanted to see what nutty thing the Frank Langella character wanted from the younger character this time around.

What Langella wants is fairly easy to guess and one nice thing on the director's part is that he that he lets Wes Bentley understand almost immediately from the second he sees Sarah Paulson exactly what Langella wanted. The climactic scene of Bentley and Paulson together is nicely effective and reasonably free of the hitting you over the head emotionalism that a lesser director would've went for. When the film ends however you kind of realize that not a whole lot really happened and that the journey that Wes Bently made and the lessons he's supposed to have learned regarding the way he's been living his life don't feel all that true. Even tho i did like the performance of the actress who played his wife (Ahna O'Reily) who i thought did a very effective job showing the frustrations living with this obsessive painter was having on her life during the couple of scenes she was in. (Or as Langella says to Bentley regarding her "Artists can't have families, it takes away from their art") Honestly i just think the film either needed more meat to its rather slim story, or failing that more maybe some more substantial scenes between Bentely and Langella--I'm not entirely sure what this film needed more of but i definitely feel like it needed more of something for it to have felt worth watching and thinking about as a whole but OK.


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