Bad Timing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bad Timing Reviews

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October 19, 2016
Every great arthouse film director has the right to make at least one film about sex addiction, and Nicolas Roeg's turn at it is pretty damn good. Returning to Vienna, the setting of his masterpiece Don't Look Now, Bad Timing is a psychological and gritty look at a self-destructive affair, that's presented in a structure that is both fascinating and confounding. The non-linear narrative is extremely fragmented (even by Roeg's standards), with the editing constantly jumping timelines, that can be confusing, although it builds up to an ending that's mostly satisfying, give or take a dip into absurdity. Not a great starting point for discovering Roeg's body of work, but a must-see for the already converted.
½ June 22, 2016
Bad Timing is another reminder of how underrated and underutilized Theresa Russell is and what an accomplished actress she was at just 23 when this film was released. Randomly set in Vienna, the plot centers around Alex (Art Garfunkel), an emotionally repressed chain smoking psychiatrist who begins a mutually obsessive affair with a sensual younger woman Milena (Russell). Milena's addictive personality, erratic behavior, and sexual openness both frustrate and fascinate Alex, and she seems to be drawn to his status as a solid, erudite older man that will put up with her outbursts and meltdowns. Director Nicolas Roeg reveals a nuanced picture of how relationships based on physical attraction and emotional co-dependency play out and how they can be sustained even when the couple has nothing else in common and no real conversations unless centered around foreplay or fighting. However Art Garfunkel's wooden performance prevents the audience from caring about Alex, and the reasons behind Milena's more self-destructive and ultimately suicidal behavior are never really revealed. The most controversial moment of the film comes when Milena calls Alex to her apartment after taking an overdose of pills and alcohol, and Alex, in some perverted and psychotic expression of affection, rapes Milena when she is in a catatonic state. However Roeg failed to give viewers any sense of the kind of creeping danger in this relationship that would lead to such a violent and horrific act. Ultimately too many artistic flourishes used in Roeg's flashback style storytelling and the mismatch in talent and charisma of the two lead actors holds back Bad Timing from realizing its full potential.
½ August 27, 2015
This is a film that requires more than just casual viewing; multi-tasking such as texting others or browsing the internet while watching it is not recommended. It's too easy to miss important details with the frequent intercut flashbacks. This is not Roeg's greatest film, but it's not a "bad" one either. I had no problem following the back story flashbacks intercut with the real-time ambulance, hospital efforts to save Flaherty (Russell), and the investigation into her suicide attempt by Insp. Netusil (Keitel). The flashbacks are Dr. Linden's (Garfunkel) recollections of the origin of his affair with Flaherty, its progression and the actual events on the night of her attempted suicide. While some may not be satisfied with the ending and possibly find it frustrating with a seeming lack of sufficient resolution, I was not bothered much by it. Everyone knows everything by the end. Including how they act on it (or choose not to) in the film ends is not relevant or necessary. "Bad Timing" is the very appropriate title for the film, and it's very descriptive of several aspects and dimensions. It's dark regarding the psychological states of both Dr. Linden and Flaherty. The movie depicts their sexual affair without concealing anything, but it doesn't come across as gratuitous either, showing various aspects of their relationship, not just the sexual encounters, all of which help develop their very different personalities.
August 7, 2015
One of the more edgy and riveting films I've seen from this era. (I see why I didn't catch this one in the theater when I was 10.)
May 5, 2015
Alex Linden: "You tell the truth about a lie so beautifully."
February 25, 2015
Another of Roeg's childish attempts at being shocking. The story is simple with no substance, the acting is average, and I am surprised there was even a director after watching it. No wonder Roegs name is never mentioned with the greats. Simply a tasteless, bad film.
April 13, 2014
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
December 29, 2013
The psychology of sexual obsession artistically exposed--A Creepy, Riveting, Stunner!!
October 6, 2013
BAD TIMING is Nic Roeg's ultimate achievement. A true masterwork of sexual obsession and misguided love.
½ August 12, 2013
"Bad Timing" es el retrato, mediante una narrativa fragmentada -y a veces confusa- de una relación auto-destructiva entre dos personas que, a lo lejos, no parecen nada compatibles (uno es un psiquiatra con el físico de Art Garfunkel y otra es una bella mujer que no parece que voltearía a verlo, mucho menos iniciar una obsesiva relación que la llevaría a adicciones a alcohol y drogas).
A pesar de esto, "Bad Timing" es una interesante película de Nicolas Roeg que, en su estilo experimental, logra envolvernos. Recomendable.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2013
I'm going to refer to my friend Steve's review on this one except to add that Theresa Russel looked an awful lot like Amy Irving then, and Tatum O'Neal now.

Oh, and Theresa Russell shows snatch in this.
April 19, 2013
Portraying a couple stuck in a sensual cycle, Roeg displays a self awareness of man's unhealthy lust in an organized chaos of strong characters.
December 13, 2012
A masterpiece for many people...
½ October 5, 2012
Theresa Russell is so interesting. I feel like I know her, which is a pivotal way in which we're made to feel for her character in Nicolas Roeg's idiosyncratic, intuitive and heartfelt kaleidoscope, which grows in emotional intensity and poignancy as it unfolds, with a moving modern soundtrack and striking cinematography, jointed into a mosaic spiked with jagged details which ultimately turn the movie on its head. Sometimes you can't help but want what's bad for you. As for the traditional romantic themes, I'm with Billie Holiday. Same old story, but it's worth telling just once more.
½ September 11, 2012
Roeg followed the brilliant "The Man Who Fell to Earth" with this film and while it maintains the frenzied pace and non-linear presentation, it lacks the depth and feeling of the greatest of Roeg's films. Theresa Russell is fantastic in the female lead, the problem is that Art Garfunkel is no match for her as an actress. The story is well written, even in its choppy visualistic rendering. The film is very much worth while and grows on you after repeated viewings though it is lesser Roeg (more reminiscent of "Performance" than "The Man Who Fell to Earth"). Harvey Keitel is also great but under utilized. Excellent camera work by Anthony Richmond who previously worked on "Don't Look Now" and "TMWFTE".
September 6, 2012
After making Don't Look Now (1973) and The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976), Nicolas Roeg was quiet for a few years, he nearly did Flash Gordon and an unmade adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise, but he settled on this project brought to him by producer Jeremy Thomas and writer Yale Udoff, this is one of Roeg's most upsetting and shocking films, but also one of his very best films. Set in Vienna, this is a story told in flashback and then some, focusing on a relationship between psychiatrist Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) and Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell). Milena was an army brat growing up on U.S. Army bases around the world, but she was married to Czech man Stefan Vognic (Denholm Elliot), and she comes over to Austria to start a new life, but she still goes back every now and again to see Stefan. When she meets Alex at a party, and it's love at first sight. Alex loves her care-free spirit to life and they have a relationship, but it's not long before Alex becomes bored, and notices her infidelities, but even after they split, he spies on her and can't get over Milena, and after a tragic incident, Inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) tries to make sense over what happened. It's hardly the stuff of mainstream cinema, (distributor Rank HATED it), but Roeg brings the best out of his cast, and it has a good soundtrack from Tom Waits, The Who and Keith Jarrett. But, it does have some sickening moments, tastefully done though, including Garfunkel raping Russell overdosed and near comatose on drugs, before calling for an ambulance. Roeg knows how to provoke a reaction, non more so than Bad Timing.
August 2, 2012
Don't' get the bad rep. I thought it was very interesting and intriguing. A bit too long though.
July 21, 2012
A fragmented dissection of a failed relationship and the attempted suicide that brings in the police. The big problem here is that the film is too disjointed to engage with on any but an intellectual level, and on that level, the couple just rehashes the same problems again and again.
½ July 9, 2012
Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell embark on a very intense relationship. Beautifully made drama which deserves more attention.
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