TIFF 2014 Review: “Time Out Of Mind” (2014)

Richard Gere and Ben Vereen spotted shotting scenes as homeless men for their upcoming movie 'Time Out of Mind' in NYC

Directed by: Oren Moverman

Written by: Oren Moverman

Cinematographer: Bobby Bukowski

Sound: Felix Andrew

Cast: Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedwick, Jeremy Strong

Why would a man who had everything in his life – a good job, money, a wife and daughter – end up losing everything in the blink of an eye?  Alcohol abuse has long been one of society’s challenging problems.  People drink a glass or two then progresses to becoming a “drunk”.  When life’s difficulties are too tough to deal with, some use alcohol as an escape route from reality but it eventually destroys the user who becomes addicted and ultimately loses control of his life.

George (Richard Gere) is the loser who has nowhere to go, and now calls the unforgiving streets of New York City his home. He is one of society’s disenfranchised men known as “homeless”. Now, he lives in the empty, dark streets of the night. His warm and clean bed has been replaced by a bench in the park. His daily income is whatever cash compassionate people may give him. Then a seemingly already bad situation becomes worse when George decides to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Maggie (Jena Malone), who has no desire to see him at all…

“Time Out Of Mind” is a powerful drama written and directed by Oren Moverman, who also directed “Rampart”, “The Messenger”, and wrote the script for the recent biopic “Love and Mercy”. Moverman`s film is something that we have never seen before, and opens up a disturbing, dark  part of our society –  the life of homeless people – with their daily problems and struggles that we might not have seen or understood before. This film is directed and adapted onto the screen to give viewers a chance to experience George`s life up close.


In this film, the sound and cinematography are quite different. Felix Andrew (sound) and Bobby Bukowski (cinematographer) have created a perfect environment in the film, introducing us to the real experience of homeless people. There is no soundtrack in the film, except for the random voices of people, talking on the phone, sneezing, coughing, or the music that comes from a nearby night club.  Everything that happens in the film, and the sounds we hear, looks so fascinatingly realistic and unusual and this is what makes this film excellent and wonderful.

It is quite strange to see Richard Gere as a bum in “Time Out Of Mind”. But here, this is who Richard Gere is. He is not afraid of experimenting; to try something new, and he does this in a very classy way. Gere has not delivered his best performance yet.  However, he ably creates a man who suffers, starves on the very cold or very hot streets, and tries to find a little hope for survival; to stay alive and to hold on to  his miserable life.  Screen legend Ben Vereen plays Gere`s shelter mate, who like Gere`s George, is unfortunate enough to also live on the streets.

Certainly a superb film about how life is lived outside of our warm homes, “Time Out of Mind” is where some people find themselves in circumstances they did not expect. It`s an absolutely exclusive film that surely will stand out from its predecessors and will make you look at the dark side of the life from a more humane perspective.

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