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Time Out (2001)

L'emploi du temps (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama | 14 November 2001 (France)
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An unemployed man finds his life sinking more and more into trouble as he hides his situation from his family and friends.

Director:

Laurent Cantet

Writers:

Robin Campillo (scenario), Laurent Cantet (scenario)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aurélien Recoing ... Vincent
Karin Viard ... Muriel
Serge Livrozet Serge Livrozet ... Jean-Michel
Jean-Pierre Mangeot Jean-Pierre Mangeot ... Father
Monique Mangeot Monique Mangeot ... Mother
Nicolas Kalsch Nicolas Kalsch ... Julien
Marie Cantet Marie Cantet ... Alice
Félix Cantet Félix Cantet ... Félix
Olivier Lejoubioux Olivier Lejoubioux ... Stan
Maxime Sassier Maxime Sassier ... Nono
Elisabeth Joinet Elisabeth Joinet ... Jeanne
Nigel Palmer Nigel Palmer ... Jaffrey
Christophe Charles Christophe Charles ... Fred
Didier Perez Didier Perez ... Philippe
Philippe Jouannet Philippe Jouannet ... Human resources director
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Storyline

Recently fired from his job, but unable to confess the truth to his close-knit family, Vincent spends his days driving around the countryside, talking into his cell phone and staring into space. Vincent fabricates a new job for himself so his family and friends will not know that he is out of work. At one point, he even sneaks into an office building. As Vincent roams the building's sterile halls, peeking into meeting rooms where men are busy at work, we see a man who yearns not just for a new job, but also for a place in the world. While this pantomime of work initially registers as sad and even a little pathetic, it slowly and unnervingly becomes terrifying. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now he must decide between his life of lies...or the truth.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

14 November 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Time Out See more »

Filming Locations:

France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,978, 5 April 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$448,375, 25 August 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by a true story, that of Jean-Claude Romand. In reality, Romand went on to kill, on January 9, 1993, his wife, two children and both his parents. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Contentment
Composed by Marian McPartland
Published By KPM Music Phonographic Copyright
(p) & © 1972 KPM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Highly nuanced psychological thriller
20 March 2007 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

TIME OUT (Laurent Cantet - France 2001).

The English language title Time Out is not entirely fitting. Perhaps Time Running Out would be a more appropriate title, since this is exactly what Vincent, the main character, is going through.

Vincent (Aurélien Recoing) is a highly motivated financial consultant. Or, at least, that's what he used to be. Fact of the matter is, he lost his job three months ago and now concocts an elaborate facade to cover up the fact he is now unemployed. While his wife, Muriel (Karin Viard), thinks he's at work, Vincent is aimlessly roaming the highways, hanging out at rest stops, and sleeping in his car, regularly calling his wife to give her an update about his next meeting and apologizing for coming home late, before turning in for his overnight stay in his car. Vincent lives like a ghost, increasingly detached from his wife, children and former colleagues, he doesn't seem to realize the truth is closing in. One day, they will find out. But Vincent has gotten to a point where he's constructed his own dream world. He resorts to reading all kinds of economic pamphlets about his apparent line of business, studying and memorizing them like he really is active in this line of work. As Vincent needs money, he makes up a plan to defraud old friends and his parents out of their savings by letting them in on some bogus investment scheme. He conducts his business out of a hotel lounge, where he catches the eye of Jean-Michel (Serge Livrozet, a brilliant role), a "real" , experienced operator who immediately recognizes Vincent is a fraud. He offers Vincent a job in his own operation, meaning some extra pocket money and perhaps even a way out of his increasingly sticky situation.

Director Cantet's style is distinctly unflashy. Set against the wintry landscapes of Rhône-Alpes around Grenoble and Annecy, the film makes very good use of its locations. Whether it's the bland office complexes in the "zones commerciales" at the outskirts of anonymous towns, or the snow-clad mountains surrounding them, it seems to blend perfectly with the film's tone. Accompanied by a beautiful classical score, Cantet shows himself a remarkably sharp and observant storyteller. Although the film maintains interest throughout, the running time of 132 minutes did seem a tad long, and Vincent's lengthy economic arguments when conning his friends and relatives (some of them business men themselves) out of their money weren't terribly convincing. His arguments range from unconvincing to downright nonsense. At least he would'n have convinced me, but even my 91 year old grandmother wouldn't have bought any of this for a moment. But, some of these inconsistencies aside, this is a skilfully constructed film and an engrossing psychological drama that slowly unfolds like a thriller with a brilliant performance by Aurélien Recoing to top it off.

Camera Obscura --- 8/10


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