Good Time by the Safdie brothers evokes the desperate race of a gangster in New York to save his mentally retarded brother arrested after a botched bank robbery.
Good Time, the fifth feature film by the two New York brothers filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie (Mad Love in New York, Lenny and the Kids) tells the story of two brothers in a kind of “street opera”. One, Connie, is ingenious, the other Nick, is mentally handicapped. A bank robbery in the Queens goes wrong: Nick is arrested. Connie will then do everything possible to get him out of prison: pay the bail or make him escape. He then embarks for a dangerous and tumultuous odyssey to an unpredictable destination.
Escaping a sordid existence
Adrenaline, desperate tempo, electro nervous music, urban thugs in New York City, a camera focusing on faces close-ups to fuel the tension, all the ingredients of a gangster film are staged in the story of two brothers engulfed in chaos and descent into violence. To escape a sordid existence with the project to settle in Virginia, Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) brings with him Nick (Benny Safdie) in a bank robbery. They flee with a bag full of dollars, but the dollar bag was hiding a nasty surprise. Connie and Nick are then spotted by the police. Connie manages to escape, but the mentally handicapped Nick is arrested.
Race against the clock
Connie tries to find money for Nick’s bail, especially with his girlfriend Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Meanwhile, as Nick wants to do “whatever he wants when he wants”, he is beaten by prisoners and ends up in the hospital. Connie manages to get an inmate out of the hospital, that he believes to be his brother, but he finds himself with a stranger, a looser he will use. In a mad race against the clock and bouncing every minute on the opportunities that night is providing him with, Connie tirelessly pursues his quest to find money and save his brother. But all his initiatives fail and give the contrary of what he expected.
Strong fraternal bond
The strong fraternal bond between the two protagonists is the thread of the film that shows how far Connie is ready to go to save his brother when everything collapses. Good Time takes place in Queens and its surroundings – where Josh and Benny Safdie spent much of their childhood – and becomes a full-fledged character, like its inhabitants from the most diverse ethnic origins.
Good Time is a hold-your-breath, high energy thriller with urban aesthetics, carried by Robert Pattinson’s formidable performance as sensitive bank robber, with exacerbated ill-being, constantly on the verge of madness. Ben Sadfie, one of the director, is impressive in his role of mentally retarded, and Taliah Webster‘s nice performance as a teenager who is seduced by Connie and will help him, is worth mentioning.
Good Time is the first work by the Safdie brothers in competition in Cannes.
A film by Josh and Benny Safdie
Color – 1h40
The Twin Peaks & Good Time Red Carpets in images
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