Time Out

An inexplicably eerie film about a middle-aged businessman named Vincent (Aurelien Recoing, looking like a cross between Kevin Spacey and Dan Aykroyd) who, after being fired from his job, hides his unemployment from his family, and in fact starts getting hooked on telling lies, even concocting a bogus investment scheme to swindle money out of dear friends, strangers, and his own father. Why? Because even though it doesn't bring him any happiness, he can get away with it.

Time Out moves along at a measured pace, and there is always a sense of payoff coming that never quite arrives, but the film has a way of getting under your skin and haunting you. Is Vincent a pathological liar? Is he just reacting to the soul-stifling rules of his middle-class existence, which insist that he stay at his futureless job all his life and not complain? Is he simply losing his mind? Time Out suggests it all, but wisely refrains from coming to any tidy conclusion about what's going on in Vincent's head.

In the end, what's most effective about the film is that it suggests the world is full of Vincents. Naturalistic, melancholy, and filled with fine detail, I'd be surprised if it didn't wind up on my list of favorite films for the year. It's probably gone from theatres by the time I write this review, but if you stumble across it at your local video store, and have a quiet evening where you're in the mood to enjoy intelligent, thought-provoking fare, please don't overlook Time Out.