Time Out of Mind

Oh look! Richard Gere is playing a homeless man, with a $50 haircut and a tasteful stubble that never grows, plus a magic plastic bag (black or white, depending on the scene) that provides him with an endless wardrobe.

Award-winning (Toronto 2014 International Film Festival) director Oren Moverman ("Rampart") held his 2015 Seattle International Film Festival press screeners captive for 120 very looong minutes while we tried to ascertain if our "hero" was mentally ill or if that unexplained scar on the left side of his head signified an injury that affected his brain. Then we tried to care....

The cast:
  • Richard Gere ("Arbitrage") George evidently has a past but we couldn't make it out. All we could do was speculate, so we made up a past for him. We think it included music. At least we were able to enjoy his piano playing...eventually... Gere is an accomplished musician and we were grateful, even though, in my opinion it was too little, too late.
  • Jena Malone ("The Hunger Games: Mockingjay") Maggie is a bartender and for the longest time we worried for her safety because George seemed to be a stalker.
  • Ben Vereen ("Top Five") Dixon talks George's leg off and then keeps right on talking! He latches onto him at the homeless shelter and won't let go. We worry about HIM, too!
There were so many problems I'll only mention a few: the pillowcase that went from white to mattress ticking in the flick of eye; our homeless man has one shower and one indifferent bite out of one meal in several days; his bag is sometimes with him and other times...not; he has coins for a pay phone, an endless supply of coffee and vodka, plus bus and Metro tickets, but claims he is penniless; he urinates on the street but is completely nonchalant about it; he walks with a young man's swinging stride, even though.... Okay, okay, I'll stop.

These are all a director's choice and under his control, I do NOT blame Gere... Also irritating was the incessantly garbled soundtrack muddied by sirens, street sounds and overlapping conversations. We tried to follow the action but it was often just reflected in windows and blurred by people or vehicles passing between us and the "action."

This was an endless exercise in frustration. Some of our audience felt guilty for not liking it; not me. I wish I could recommend it, but I can't. Sorry...