Those fortunate enough to have seen Laurent Cantet’s debut film Human Resources (Resources humaines) will surely have been eagerly awaiting to see what would follow. Few will be disappointed by Time Out, which confirms Cantet’s promise as not only an accomplished filmmaker fully at ease with his craft, but also as a compassionate teller of socially relevant stories. Vincent (outstandingly played by Aurelian Recoing) is an ordinary man, established in his career and settled in his family life. A job change is announced and celebrated, and Vincent apparently takes up his new position, which requires him to work away at the company’s Geneva office during the week. In fact this is the first in a series of deceptions which grow in scale and complexity, making Vincent become what the director describes as ‘the sincerest of liars and an actor in his own life.’ What distinguishes Time Out is Cantet’s oblique approach to his protagonist and subject matter, and his skill in establishing a creeping sense of unease as Vincent slips between the respectability of his life to date and the shadier waters he is forced to enter. With its precise mise-en-scene, sharp script and haunting score (by Jocelyn Pook), this is thoughtful filmmaking of humanity and depth.France, 2001. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 132 min.