Full Time (2021)

3.8 of 5 from 52 ratings
1h 28min
Not released
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Julie (Laure Calamy) can’t catch a break. For a single mother raising two children in the suburbs of Paris but working in the city, the commuter train is a lifeline - and it’s suddenly been severed during the latest transit strike. Without the train, Julie can’t get to her job as the head maid at a five-star hotel - or to the interview for a better job she has lined up. Out of desperation, Julie turns to neighbors and her own gutsy resourcefulness to commute into the city for work, barely making it back in time to pick up her kids before dinner. Worse yet: it’s only Monday.
Julie is at her breaking point and soon finds herself bending the rules to stay afloat in a ruthless society as her responsibilities pile up. Anchored by Calamy’s powerful performance, 'Full Time' is an impossible race against time and a kinetic thriller assembled from the everyday obstacles faced by working parents everywhere.
, , , Nolan Arizmendi, Sasha Lemaitre Cremaschi, , , , , Dana Fiaque, , , , Aymeline Alix, , , Céline Perra, , , Olivier Hardouin
Eric Gravel
Raphaëlle Delauche, Nicolas Sanfaute
Voiced By:
Guillaume Vincent, Marina Sau
Eric Gravel
À plein temps
Drama, Thrillers
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
88 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1

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Reviews (1) of Full Time

Impressive study of modern work from the perspective of a single mother - Full Time review by PD

Spoiler Alert

Most of us can easily relate to the experience of a sleep-shattering jab of an early-morning alarm and the various sensations a promising job interview subjects us to in a context of a demeaning job. Eric Gavel’s film is a breathless nail-biter whose stoical protagonist Julie (Laure Calamy - utterly convincing throughout) is a single mother of two who commutes to Paris from the suburbs in her capacity as head chambermaid at a four-star hotel, while at the same time looking for a job better suited to her university education. The film’s title is quite literal, alluding to the “second shift” that still falls disproportionately on the shoulders of women, often expected to perform endless hours of unpaid domestic labour after clocking off from work.

Julie’s day-to-day life would be gruelling enough were it not for a transit strike that serves as a backdrop to her struggle. It makes her late for work and late to pick up her children from their childminder, Madame Lusigny, forcing her to hitchhike or pay for taxis that she can’t afford while she waits for her (all too absent) ex-husband to pay alimony and take some responsibility. Still, she views the strikes almost as a rogue weather phenomenon, never blaming them for her troubles but never showing any solidarity either, (let alone succumbing to the thought of why she can’t go on strike herself). This is all-too obviously a dog-eat-world where a workforce is both exploited and taken for granted; cornered though she is, the individualism that drives Julie’s actions leads to the firing of another single mother.

The frenetic editing of scenes that see Julie sprinting from terminal to terminal through seething crowds and traffic jams, barely keeping her cool as further delays and cancellations of service are announced, never relents, and her work routine is shot at the same level of intensity. The pulsing Minimal soundtrack by Irène Drésel matches the rhythm of rapid-fire close-ups showing Julie changing into her uniform, making beds, fluffing pillows, scrubbing toilets, and so on, all of which provides a palpable contrast to the rare scenes in which she gets an all-too brief breather. Any moments of hope are quickly snuffed out, notably a meeting with a fellow parent (and the only character with any direct relation to the strikes) who gently rejects her advances, which he rightly interprets as an act of desperation rather than passion; here and elsewhere, Calamy’s performance deftly captures the moment-by-moment collapse of Julie’s composure. There’s a bitterly ironic edge to the fact that her job transposes the domestic labour she performs at home to a hotel—domestic space in its most alienated form; that both Julie’s boss at the hotel and her job interviewer at the marketing firm are women suggests that it’s capitalism, rather than sexism, that’s at the root of everyone’s troubles. The ending for me is by far the weakest bit of the film, unfortunately - if it had concluded about thirty seconds before it does, ie, before we hear what the substance of a phone call is, then it would have been even better. Nevertheless, very impressive work.

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