Cinema surveillance images are loading at the bottom of the page

Time out (L'emploi du Temps)

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Time out

is the story of Vincent (Aurélien Recoing), a happily married man, established in both his life and his career. He has an understanding wife, a teenage son who is into tae-kwon-do, a younger daughter and a father and mother who come by for regular family dinners. As the film opens, Vincent is on a business trip, phoning home whenever he has the time to tell his wife how things are going. We soon discover, however, that he has been retrenched.

So begins a completely hypnotic and spellbinding narrative. As Vincent deceives his family and constructs an increasingly complex alternative existence, an eerie sense of future events begins to invade every frame. Cantet's rigorous mise-en-scene, the troubling musical score and, most importantly Aurélien Recoing's outstanding performance as a middle-aged man whose pride inflicts unforeseen consequences, delicately unsettle scene after scene and generate incredible tension. Time out is intelligent filmmaking at its best, humane and understanding in tone, taut and chilling in style.

Persons of interest

  • Aurélien Recoing .... Vincent
  • Karin Viard .... Muriel
  • Serge Livrozet .... Jean-Michel
  • Jean-Pierre Mangeot .... Vincent's Father
  • Monique Mangeot .... Vincent's Mother
  • Nicolas Kalsch .... Julien
  • Marie Cantet .... Alice
  • Félix Cantet .... Félix
  • Maxime Sassier .... Nono
  • Elisabeth Joinet .... Jeanne
  • Nigel Palmer .... Jaffrey
  • Christophe Charles .... Fred
  • Didier Perez .... Philippe
  • Olivier Lejoubioux .... Stan
  • Robin Campillo .... Screenwriter
  • Laurent Cantet .... Screenwriter
  • Laurent Cantet .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Vincent spends the entire film never quite connecting with anyone. Aurélien Recoing is perfectly cast as the man who can neither figure out his life nor figure out how to fix it, even if he does look like Tommy Lee Jones' French cousin. The existential angst-o-meter red lines throughout the whole film, not least when Vincent finds the answer to his question. (Office jobs suck, by the way.)

Meanwhile, Karin Viard's portrayal of the abandoned wife is great; she has a presence that fills the screen and a positively radiant Frenchness. Likewise, Nicolas Kalsch as the abandoned and fugitive son (ain't teenagers wonderful?) is awesome even though it's such a small role. Laurent Cantet's kids are good, too (ain't nepotism grand?).

Time out is a film for grown ups who have a long attention span (2¼ hours is nothing to laugh at) and who can find fine dining in the most meagre of fare. Enjoy it if you can.

Security censorship classification


Surveillance time

132 minutes (2:12 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 17 October 2002 - Melbourne, Sydney
Film: 30 December 2002 - Festival of Perth

Cinema surveillance images

Time out (L'emploi du Temps) imageTime out (L'emploi du Temps) image

[ Return to top ]