Robert Pattinson has only managed to make the girls swoon so far with his role in the dreadful Twilight franchise. His acting has been stale and devoid of pretty much anything positive. I have always maintained that he has the potential for greatness, he just needs the right role. In Good Time he has found his role. He did impress me with his subtle performance in this year’s Lost City of Z in a supporting role, but this is his first lead role in which he truly shines. I would say he should be considered for an Oscar but Good Time is such a small budgeted film, I doubt that many in the Academy have even heard of this film, let alone seen it.
Good Time tells the story of Connie (Pattinson) and Nick (Benny Safdie), a pair of bank-robbing brothers who have just pulled off a heist. Connie is a fast-talking con man when he is not robbing banks and Nick is a mentally disabled young man who simply goes along back up his brother. Nick knows what he is doing, I think and knows it is wrong but does not seem to be able to tell Connie to stop. When Nick is picked up by the police and is thrown in jail, Connie will stop at nothing to bail him out. While in jail, the police send Nick to a psychologist to evaluate Nick complicating the whole get-out-of-jail plan. Good Time spends the rest of the film on Connie as he sprints and cons his way to get his brother out, no matter where Nick is being held.
Good Time was directed by the Safdie brothers of Benny and Josh and where Benny’s duties double as a director and one of the film’s stars, Josh, in addition to directing has also written the script along with Ronal Bronstein. They have all done a good job of creating the world of the conman. This film is gritty and has a very Martin Scorcese, Mean Streets kind of feel to it which I appreciated. It is the pacing that seems to be off and it hurts the narrative to the film, but Pattinson is so good here, I did not mind that much. Yes, the film gets a bit laborious by the third act but Pattinson’s performance is simply awesome. He has adopted an odd accent but I bought it, anyway. His Connie is not a very nice person but there is something about his character that kept me interested. Pattinson’s Connie talks his way in and out of just about every situation and it is fascinating to watch.
Jennifer Jason Leigh has a small supporting role as Corey and I was unsure as to what her relationship was to Connie. She comes and goes pretty quickly and they never really develop her as a substantial character. The only thing I can surmise is that she and Connie had a fling but since Leigh is fifty-five and Pattinson is only thirty-one, I was not sure. Leigh still looks like she is in her thirties, so maybe that is what they were going for. But since very little time is spent developing her character there is no closure. The pacing, as I said is off, as well and it does hurt the film, but with Pattinson’s performance, the stylish and gritty feel of the film and a great score by newcomer Daniel Lopatin (who goes under the name Oneohtrix), there was enough here for me to enjoy Good Time, for the most part. So if you are looking for something other than a comic book film, Good Time might be your ticket.
Good Time – *** out of 5
Good Time – Rated R for violence, some gore and graphic language
Good Time – Run Time is 101 minutes
Good Time is now available on DVD, On Demand and subscription services.