L'emploi du temps

L'emploi du temps

Time out

Streaming Video - 2002 | French
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Vincent is a businessman on the move, speeding between meetings and sharing every detail with his admiring wife, Muriel. But Vincent is leading a double life. Fired from his job, he constructed an elaborate fantasy that has become his full-time occupation. When friends and family start asking about the "investment opportunities" he provided, he must decide which of his lives is more important.
Publisher: [United States] : Miramax, 2002.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 132 min.)) : sd., col.
video file
Alternative Title: Time out


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Dec 14, 2014

To the casual observer Vincent Renault is a man on the rise. Having resigned from a prestigious consulting company he is now gainfully employed by the U.N. where he helps emerging African nations become financially self-sufficient. With a gorgeous home outside Paris, a small pied-à-terre in Geneva and a loving family to boot, what more could a man want? The trouble is it’s all a lie. Vincent was actually fired from his first job, and rather than tell anyone the humiliating truth he has fabricated an entire alternate life; while his wife believes his long absences from home are due to work obligations he is actually spending his time reading newspapers on a park bench, haunting office buildings in his shabby suit and tie, and sleeping in his car. As his finances begin to run dry Vincent hits a new low; conning money from friends and family alike under the pretense of investing it on the sly in a foolproof banking scheme. Just as his fragile house of cards threatens to come crashing down on his head a guardian angel enters Vincent’s life in the form of a shady businessman who promises him a lucrative way out of the mess he’s created. But all things come with a cost attached to them and Vincent’s carefully crafted deception may very well carry the biggest price tag of all. Laurent Cantet’s piercing character study of one lost soul’s pitiful ploy to maintain the illusion of material success to the exclusion of all else plays with all the force of a classical tragedy. It’s not that Vincent is a bad person, or even a particularly unlikeable one, for in him we see elements of ourselves; the need to belong, to be valued, and to know one’s niche in the scheme of things. Even an ersatz rat race is preferable to the existential limbo in which Vincent finds himself, where board meetings seem to mock him from behind glass doors and a bucolic alpine retreat provides a cold comfort as false as his fabricated life. Shot under overcast skies with a palette of shadowy blues and pallid whites it appears as if Vincent’s entire world has been drained of substance while the film’s glacial pacing slowly builds towards a powerful final scene of reproachful stares and one last desperate fugue. A terse coda may seem tacked on but upon closer inspection it carries within it an intense irony which thwarts any notion of a pat Hollywood ending.


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