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Time out of Mind


Stars: Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vazquez, Michael K. Williams, Steve Buscemi, Brian d'Arcy James, Geraldine Hughes, Colman Domingo, Danielle Brook

Director: Oren Moverman

Memories of the once smooth sexy superstar of such glossy offerings as Pretty Woman and Chicago are completely erased by Richard Gere’s extraordinary performance in this powerful near-documentary with its truthfulness-filled portrait of a homeless, mentally ill drifter on the streets of New York.

Unshaven, scruffy and near unrecognisable, we first meet Gere when he is caught sleeping in the bath of an apartment he has invaded. We follow him as he wanders through the Big Apple, hoping to survive by begging for food and money before being forced to try and take advantage of the city’s Social Services, even though he does not have the necessary documentation to get what he so desperately needs…

Screenwriter (with Jeffrey Caine) Oren Moverman never obviously intrudes into the drama. He sensitively guides Gere (also credited as one of the film’s 13 producers) though as series of increasingly moving sequences many of which, fascinatingly, seeing Gere not being recognized by while appearing on the streets of New Yorker in what appears to be a perfect disguise. It would appear tha star seekers expect their stars to be beautifully groomed and dressed and ready for their close-ups in real life as well as on screen.

The slim storyline which finds Gere seeking to renew his relationship with his estranged daughter Jena Malone is perhaps a tad too slim to carry the story through its two hour running time without creating pallid patches in the drama but they are far and few between and Gere’s extraordinary performance more than compensates.

While Ben Vereen, Kyra Sedgewick and Steve Buscemi appear to excellent effect it’s Gere’s film and he and the movie deserved at least one award, if not more. That didn’t happen.

Nevertheless when you consider all the actors and films that deserved awards and never received them, that’s no dishonor since Time Out of Mind exists and deserves to be seen.

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Altitude Film Distribution. Colour.
121 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Mar 2016