Time Out of Mind

Posted October 16, 2015 by in


Total Score

5/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: drama
Director: Oren Moverman
Actors: Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone
Length: 120 minutes
Release Date: 10-16-2015
Studio: Blackbird, Cold Iron Pictures, Lightstream Pictures
What We Thought

Richard Gere gives a tour-de-force performance. It’s an effective—and striking—casting choice, as we see someone who’s played so many characters of wealth and power now play someone so powerless.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
You’re sitting in a restaurant.  It’s evening.  The food is delicious, and the restaurant is cozy.  You look outside through the window, and see a homeless man on the other side of the glass.
     Time Out of Mind is about that man.  In this case, his name is George.  He was staying with a woman named Sheila, till one morning when he is thrown out by the building super (Steve Buscemi), who tells him Sheila has been evicted.
     He waits for her, but she never returns.  He calls her, but she never picks up.  Finally, George realizes that she’s abandoned him.  With his wallet stolen, with no place to go, George finds himself on the streets.
     The film is about the daily struggles of a homeless man.  Sleeping on benches, eating out of the garbage, begging for change.  No one should have to live like that.
     But George does.  He doesn’t say much, but he listens, and becomes our eyes and ears, looking at the city from the outside in.  The film isn’t just about George, but ourselves, and how we treat those less fortunate.  Some throw things at him, some offer him clothing.  Others just ignore him, as if he didn’t exist.
     Time Out of Mind is about just that; being invisible.  George has lost his I.D., his identity.  He’s no one, anonymous.  The man on the other side of the glass.  Director Oren Moverman often shoots him that way, through a window, or a door, reminding us of how the homeless live among us but apart from us.
     Not much happens in the film, but that’s part of the point; it’s a film about a state of being.  Without a job or a home, he has nowhere to go and nothing to do.  He drinks to cope with his situation.  Every day like is that for George.
     He is played by Richard Gere, who, in a tour-de-force performance, conveys that George is a thinking, feeling person not with words, but with his eyes and his face.  It’s an effective—and striking—casting choice, as we see someone who’s played so many characters of wealth and power now play someone so powerless.
     George, our window into the city of New York, encounters different people, such as Karen (Kyra Sedgwick), a homeless woman who’s done with the crowded shelters, where George takes up residence.  There, George meets Dixon (Ben Vereen, in strong supporting performance), a lonely vagrant who, unlike George, never stops talking.
     And who else should George chance upon but Maggie (Jena Malone), a young woman in her twenties, whom he smiles at from afar.  How they know one another is easy to guess.  How they can resolve their differences is harder to say.  But their encounter illustrates that the person on the street is someone’s brother, father, or son, and the worst thing is to be cast aside not by society, but by those closest to us, and that they are people, who, at the very least, deserve to be acknowledged.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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