Connie Nikas forcibly removes his developmentally disabled brother Nick from a therapy session. The two rob a New York City bank for $65,000. In the getaway car, a dye pack explodes in a money bag, causing the driver to crash. Connie and Nick flee on foot, washing the dye from their clothes in a restaurant restroom. Stopped by police, Nick panics and runs; Nick is arrested while Connie escapes. Connie attempts to secure a bail bond, but needs $10,000 more to get Nick out of jail. He convinces his girlfriend, Corey, to pay with her mother's credit cards, but her mother cancels the cards. Connie learns that Nick has been hospitalized after a fight with an inmate.
Benny Safdie on the film's perspective on race: "What I think is most interesting about the film is that it does answer the questions it poses in a way that a film normally wouldn't do. People are realizing this while watching it. Like, 'Oh, it's bad that he did that!' And it is. The film is saying that it's bad. I like that the movie is doing that, because if it didn't I don't think it would make sense. I do believe that Good Time has a perspective on race - like, race on acid. You're seeing race with this weird hyper-clarity. When cops come in to the amusement park, you want to be like, 'Why aren't they questioning him?' The fact that they don't plays with the systemic racism of society." See more »
When Connie goes to the hospital to see his brother and is walking down the hall on the 6th floor, individuals are seen in the reflection of the glass. See more »
Written and performed by Daniel Lopatin (as Oneohtrix Point Never)
Courtesy of Warp Records See more »
Bleak, Chaotic and Endlessly Fascinating
Good Time is a small movie about small people doing small things. But never let it be said that it's dreary or dull. This movie somehow took the edgy anxiety of a waking nightmare, bottled it up, and put it on the screen so you'd leave the theater in a cold sweat. If the DVD/Blu-ray release of Good Time doesn't have a critic blurb saying "this movie gave me indigestion," I'll be sorely disappointed.
The setup is simple: a wanted man (Pattinson) tries to raise the money for bail to get his mentally handicapped brother (Safdie) out of prison. The two had held up a bank earlier that day and throughout the night, Connie resorts to dubious and dangerous lengths to avoid punishment and consequence.
In an interview with NPR co-director and co-star Benny Safdie said "We wanted to deliver a piece of pulp that actually felt dangerous." With that in mind cinematographer Sean Price Williams shot on 35mm and much of the movie is loaded with claustrophobic close-ups and delirious hand-held sweeps. The 35mm film bleeds into the New York nocturne. The punishing fluorescents and neon glints that makeup the movie's milieu taunts our protagonist as he spins his wheels round and round. It's a movie that recaptures the intimacy and intensity of a 4am sneak-about.
Even in calmer moments, the film pulses in its nervy desperation. The various innocents the come across Connie's path are more-or-less looking for the same thing, a way out of the mess. They approach their situations with variant levels of legality but never with Pattinson's level of sleaze or sense of entitlement. Despite this, Connie proves remarkably resourceful; one minute his back is up against a corner, the next he's clawed his way out and slumping towards the next hurdle of his odyssey. One can't help but think that if Connie put his mind towards anything other than crime, he'd be on the cover of a business magazine.
Instead he's in an unending fever dream whereby the urban sprawl is the water to his drowning rat. At its height, Good Time has the sparseness and clarity of a John Steinbeck novel and at its most pedestrian it still has the chaotic energy of The 25th Hour (2002).
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