Monday, February 16, 2009

L'Emploi du temps (Time Out) (2001)

Fess up, Daddy! You immediately learn something isn't right in Vincent's (Aurélien Recoing) life. He's on the cell in contact with his wife Muriel (Karin Viard) about his day's meetings but he's waking up in a car in a green field, not in a hotel, as he's led her to believe. Vincent's been sacked from his job but he's kept the news from Muriel, his two kids and his parents.

Not satisfied with this, he spins involved tales about his new job, the good he's generating in his position. He secures a substantial loan from his father to rent an apartment in Switzerland since the job is based there. He swindles friends into a "deal" that he promises will yield huge returns on their investments. He spends much time on the cell with the wife, telling her the made-up stories of conflicts with co-workers, meetings he never attended and what he's up to. The wild card is his ex-co-worker, the one that knows his secret. He's even offered to help Vincent find a new job but Vincent has become addicted to the lies and living the double life.

The movie delves into the roles we lead in life: mother, father, bread winner, head of household. The significance of Vincent refusing to admit to his family but more to himself that he didn't have a job were enormous. He complicates his life by all the lies and it that has to be a much more difficult existence than dealing with failing the societal norms. Or is it?

The movie felt too long. When it all unravels, I was ready. Perhaps that had more to do with the discomfort and anxiety watching Vincent living this life for the 135 minutes of compressed time living that life would generate.

Director: Laurent Cantet

Country: France

Genre: Drama

Run time: 135 minutes

Scale: 3.5

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