Writer-director Moverman certainly isn't one for crowd-pleasers. His previous two double duty efforts were The Messenger and Rampart, both effective to be sure but hardly fun. Time Out of Mind won't fill a multiplex either but is nonetheless a mightily impressive achievement.
There's no great plot to speak of. Gere plays a down-and-out whom we follow around New York, his homeless existence a study of cold abandonment as he soaks up alcohol by day and goes from one shelter to another for sleep at night, occasionally getting in touch with his brittle but vulnerable daughter (Malone), and receiving talkative and unwanted advice from fellow sufferer Vereen.
It's a character study of desperation done with enormous finesse and care. We constantly observe Gere through windows, our noses tactfully never being rubbed into his depressing lifestyle too much, but it's troubling all the same. This look into his sordid life is patiently conjured and, if you're in the right frame of mind for it, completely absorbing. Supporting turns from Malone and Vereen are impeccably convincing while Gere is awesome. The pain in his eyes as he tries to get through the days and nights, dealing with constant opposition, is masterful. He's hypnotic to watch.
Obviously not one for every taste but this neo-realist type affair is done with classy conviction and deserves your attention. Excellent.