Starring: Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi, Jeremy Strong, Kyra Sedgwick, Brian D’Arcy James
Directed By: Oren Moverman
Do we give bonus points for a film whose heart was in the right place?
Before I chose to watch Time Out Of Mind, I saw a bunch of critics grading the film on a curve, saying that it had the right idea, and that it just takes some time to get going. That’s an understatement. The first hour of the film could easily be told in half the time. Time Out Of Mind is virtually plot free, and moves along much like an actual homeless person would: with little to no purpose.
I’ve seen a lot of praise for Richard Gere, but again, I feel like we’re grading on a curve. I mean, he’s been better, and he’s had harder roles. I’m not really sure what we’re praising here. It’s an alright performance, but it’s not his best, nor is it among the best of the year. These same critics seem to have completely blown over two supporting performances that ARE terrific and that ARE among the best of the year. Ben Vereen as fellow homeless guy Dixon is really good. Some great work there. But, I have to say, Kyra Sedgwick blew me away. I honestly didn’t recognize her. It didn’t sound like her. Afterward, I was like, HOLY SHIT. THAT WAS KYRA SEDGWICK? Sure, she’s only in the film for a few minutes, but so was Judi Dench in Shakespeare In Love. Kyra deserves an Oscar nomination. I’ve seen most of the major supporting actress roles this year, and I can honestly say I’d vote for her right now. Again, she’s only in the film for maybe 3 minutes, but it was just so transcendent. I didn’t realize what I’d seen until I saw the credits, then my jaw hit the floor.
Kyra and Ben are the only reason to watch this film, which doesn’t really go deep enough to help a cause, nor is it interesting enough for anyone to ever remember. You have to have a story. You have to have some kind of plot. Oren Moverman has directed better films than this (The Messenger). I think this is just a misfire.
But, if you want to see Kyra and Ben absolutely slay it, then this film is currently on Netflix.
FINAL GRADE: C+