July 28, 2013

The Time Being (2012)

The Time Being (2012)
Directed by: Nenad Cicin-Sain
Country: USA

Review: Nenad Cicin-Sain has here his debut on direction and screenwriting, but if the former was very well accomplished, the latter evinced some faults that blurred the final painting. Daniel (Wes Bentley) is a painter who is struggling with his own frustration and financial problems. In one of his exhibitions he meets a sinister character named Warren Dax (Frank Langella) who buys one of his paintings and hires him in exchange of several strange assignments. The bitter Warren, despite terminally ill, assumes a challenging behavior with authoritative tones, always avoiding Daniel’s questions about his personal life. Maybe too soon, Warren’s secret is revealed and the film leaves the mysterious mood to enter in a sort of tragic melodrama. We can claim that the concept of selfishness and loneliness of the artist is a bit pushed to the limit here, but I know a lot of people who gave up a normal family life to dedicate themselves to work. Bentley’s performance never matched the level presented by Langella, while in visual terms, the cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. (“Tetro”, “The Master”) revealed a great sensibility for image composition and use of light. “The Time Being”, with its last third of imperfections and hasty solutions, left unclear what were Daniel’s choices, and if he really achieved a wholesome equilibrium. One thing was obvious here: style had a lot more expression than substance.

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