Like the Deepest Ocean, Time Out of Mind Directed by Oren Moverman

I’ll always love Owen Moverman for his superb Love&Mercy and so I spent three nights of penance to get through Time Out of Mind. One of my friends said, “why do you feel the need to finish movies?”

Well, in this case, because I have a home, and yet almost daily, I see homeless in Sarasota sleeping on benches by the bay, meanwhile working two jobs where to say people have money to blow is an understatement. And that’s not judgment merely commentary.

I am pleased to report though from reading Friday’s Sarasota Herald Tribune (Zach Murdock article) that the justice system has put pressure and requirements for the city to offer beds rather than mats for at least 30 homeless people a night. In addition, if all the beds are full, the police are not allowed to arrest people sleeping outside.

This is the movie I thought Norman was, a month ago, and I wonder if Richard Gere (star of both) made any connection. Norman could have just as easily become the homeless man in Time Out of Mind, as freewheeling he was with cash to impress the rich people he was hanging on.

Two hours is a long time to watch what was basically a case study of a homeless man. Overman chose to allow ambient New York City noise to be an all intrusive character. And due to this technique Gere becomes more ‘reduced’, as Ben Vereen, his temporary homeless buddy refers to them as.

Gere does a fantastic job in his portrayal as a man who lost his i.d. and with it his own place and importance in the world. The actress who plays his daughter (Jena Malone) is also excellent as well in presenting an angry young woman who can’t get passed familial injuries too deep to let go.

Tough to watch, but worth the empathy practice.

“Norman”, or more apropos, a Seinfeldesque, Newman!

Here’s my culpability, I didn’t properly vet the movie Newman, I mean “Norman”. Working two fun jobs before my pension kicks in, I am admittedly sleep deprived. Hence, I thought Norman was the Richard Gere film about a homeless man that received great reviews. And who knows? Norman may have been homeless, too, for all we know, as we never saw the guy’s house or personal life beyond his suit, trench coat and cravat. Also in my defense of thinking he was homeless, is a scene in which he raids the synagogue’s refrigerator to scarf down gvelte fish and crackers. Last, he definitely had a Willy Loman poor man vibe, minus the creep.

In addition to my not properly researching the movie (didn’t even Rotten Tomatoes it until just now -it scored an 88 critic, 69 audience), I also committed yet another sin: I left with 20 minutes to go. I know, I know, don’t revoke my reviewer’s license. But the movie was so verbose, too many conversations, and too long to circle the wagons back to the end (which I think I can guess and I promise I will rent this and cross the finish line).

I so wanted to like it more: I mean I like Gere and he was actually doing a great job being semi geeky and annoying. He was the powerless one this time and played it well. I also LOVE Charlotte Gainsbourg and as usual she had some memorable scenes, but there just wasn’t enough of her. And Hank Azaria, again, like him, but he didn’t appear until 3/4 in and by then I was ready to crawl out of my skin or find noise cancellation headphones, akin to being on a long flight with someone who won’t stop babbling.

I have to think that the actors themselves, upon seeing the final product, were like, ‘ay yi yi, too much Joseph!’ (Cedar) the director.
I did really enjoy one of Cedar’s earlier films called “Footnote”, but Norman was just too much talking, not enough personal insight.
Better luck next time.