Eight Hours Don't Make a Day
Full Time is an Incredible (and Stressful) Experience
It was theorized that as technology advanced, the human race would require less time at work. That theory has been thoroughly debunked in the late-stage capitalist nightmare of the modern world, where a 40 hour work week isn't enough to get by and every hobby and interest is encouraged to be monetized in our "hustle culture." Almost on-cue, French filmmaker Éric Gravel gives us Full Time, one of the most anxiety-inducing films in recent memory. Gravel is able to pull an incredible amount of suspense from daily life where simply making it through the week feels like a Herculean task.
Full Time chronicles a week in the life of Julie Roy (Laure Calamy), a single mother of two who works as a housekeeper for a high-end Paris hotel. But, she has an interview scheduled for a marketing research job that could lead to a better life for her and her children. Now Julie must alternate between her job and her children and still make it to her interview. This is exacerbated by a mass labor strike that has ground all public transit to a halt.
Though a basic slice of life story, Gravel shoots it with the frenetic energy of a suspense thriller. The tight, documentary-style cinematography combined with the rapid-fire editing and thumping synth soundtrack make this feel like an intimate, socially conscious film from the Dardenne Brothers colliding with Run Lola Run. Gravel is clearly aiming for a bigger social statement, but he brilliantly condenses that statement into a very personal story. Anyone who's ever spent a significant amount of time with too much on their schedule will find Full Time unbearably relatable.
Full Time is available on Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube. Written and directed by Éric Gravel // Starring Laure Calamy, Anne Suarez, Genevieve Mnich, Nolan Arizmendi, Sasha Lemaitre Cremaschi, Cyril Gueï, Cyril Masson, Lucie Gallo, Agathe Dronne, Mathilde Weil, Dana Fiaque, Marème N'Diaye, and Olivier Faliez // 88 minutes // Unrated ('R' equivalent)