Time Out of Mind

Director: Oren Moverman
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

George (Richard Gere), a homeless man in NYC, tries to reach out to his long-lost daughter (Jena Malone) when not securing places to sleep for the night and dealing with bureaucratic hell for social services and aid (he doesn't have proper ID so he's given the runaround from office to office). Moverman does a noble job exploring the plight of real people with real problems, with no homes and forced to scrounge around garbage cans for food, except Gere's character's entire personal history is basically ignored, making it more laborious to watch than it should be, hitting the same note of despair over and over: I understand George is mentally unwell, but by the third act all the audience knows is that his ex-wife died, he has a daughter and there may or may not have been a woman named Sheila in his life (or he could be lying or confused), so his scenario remains sad and perplexing. Furthermore, Moverman's aesthetic decisions are suspect - in shooting Gere through doorways and windows with various objects in between him and the camera, he's trying to reinforce the audience's (and society's) sense of distance from him (and those like him), except it's distracting once the point is made.