Time Out (2001 film)

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Time Out
L'Emploi du temps.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Laurent Cantet
Produced by Barbara Letellier
Written by Robin Campillo
Laurent Cantet
Starring Aurélien Recoing
Karin Viard
Music by Jocelyn Pook
Cinematography Pierre Milon
Edited by Robin Campillo
Stephanie Leger
Distributed by Haut et Court
Release dates
  • 4 September 2001 (2001-09-04) (Venice)
  • 14 November 2001 (2001-11-14) (France)
Running time
134 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget €2.6 million[1]
Box office $2.1 million[2]

Time Out (French: L'Emploi du temps) is a 2001 French drama film directed by Laurent Cantet and starring Aurélien Recoing and Karin Viard.[3] The film is loosely based on the life story of Jean-Claude Romand (though without the criminal element), and it focuses on one of Cantet's favorite subjects: a man's relationship with his job.

The film received considerable attention internationally and was shown at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. It was one of the independent films to be featured at the New York Film Festival.


The film tells the story of Vincent, a middle-aged man who is fired after having spent more than 11 years working for a prestigious consulting firm. Unable to admit to his family that he has been fired, the unemployed executive continues to pretend he is going to the office every day. In reality, Vincent spends his time aimlessly driving the highways of France and Switzerland, reading papers, or sleeping in his car.

As time progresses, Vincent invents more and more elaborate lies, throwing himself into a vicious spiral of deceit. To sustain his bourgeois lifestyle, Vincent sets up a Ponzi scheme (an investment scam) and is eventually enlisted into smuggling by career thief Jean-Michel. Murielle, Vincent's wife, after discovering her husband's "life of lies" attempts to bring him back into the realm of reality.



Time Out received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 96%, based on 82 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The consensus reads, "A haunting psychological drama, Time Out takes a penetrating look at the angst of the modern worker."[4] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 88, based on 30 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

The film was placed at 99 on Slant Magazine's best films of the 2000s,[6] number 9 of The Guardian's Best Films of the Noughties,[7] and number 11 at The A.V. Club's top 50 films of the 2000s.[8]


Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Foreign Language Film 2nd place
European Film Awards Best Screenwriter Laurent Cantet and Robin Campillo Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best International Film Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Foreign Language Film 3rd place
Best Actor Aurélien Recoing 3rd place
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Foreign Language Film Runner-up
Venice International Film Festival Don Quixote Award Won
Vienna International Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize Won


  1. ^ "L'Emploi du temps". JP's Box-Office. 
  2. ^ "L\'Emploi du temps (Time Out) (2001)- JPBox-Office". Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Movie Review - - FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW; A Great New Job in, uh, Fabrication - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 19 July 2016.  line feed character in |title= at position 15 (help)
  4. ^ "Time Out (L' Emploi du temps) (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Time Out". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Film". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  7. ^ "100 Best Films of the Noughties". The Guardian. London. December 17, 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The best films of the '00s". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]