Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)
Time Regained, released in 2000, is a film in French with English subtitles. It is very slow paced and obviously made for an audience in France. It does not explain where in France, merely gives the names of towns (cities) without Southern, Northern, etc part of France next to them. I do not know France well enough to know exactly where in France this movie was referring. Some of it resembled along the French-English Channel, but I could not tell for certain. I have only visited France once years ago and it was mostly in Paris. All I can tell you is that this movie portrayed Marcel Proust's life and it took place in France before, during and after World War I.
Time Regained is about a man dying and reviewing his life while diligently attempting to finish writing a very lengthy novel. Marcel Proust (played by Marcello Mazzarella) is depicted as eccentric and clinically depressed who believes one cannot truly love until the person they love has left their life and only then can someone see the paradise plus happiness they had with their beloved. According to this film, life is a tragedy.
Time Regained was painfully too long in its 2 hours and 38 minutes filled with the strangest dialogue mixture of Marcel Proust's memories and fictional character interaction from the novel he is desirous of finishing before the Grim Reaper arrives. It ends peculiarly, leaving me wondering if he finished the novel and asking myself, did this chap die? When? Both seemed important to the main character, Marcel Proust, but not to the scriptwriter of this unusual bleak film.
John Malkovich's performance as Le Baron de Charlus was exemplary. His ability to act while speaking French perfectly surprised me. I know he is not a native French man. Accent, French, and acting were impeccable. It was definitely John Malkovich speaking the French lines. His voice is unmistakable in any language. Hat's off to Mr. Malkovich's great performance!
In spite of the script being filled with difficult-to-follow flashbacks, the costumes and props were perfectly period; did not notice anything "modern" that did not belong on the screen. The filming was expertly done. Technically, this film was flawless.
Cast included, in order listed by credits: Marcello Mazzarella, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Vincent Perez, John Malkovich, Pascal Greggory, Marie-France Pisier and Chara Mastroiani. These great actors were excellent and played the primary characters of the movie.
I personally do not recommend viewing Time Regained for I have seen better scripted French films with superior plots than this film; usually enjoy French films. Time Regained is rated NR. Like the majority of French films, this movie’s subject matter (entire content) and dialogue were very adult in nature; definitely not a movie for minors to view.
For more about Marcel Proust, a famous French writer and critic, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Proust