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1,133 Ratings

Bad Timing

Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession

Directed by Nicolas Roeg
United Kingdom, 1980


Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with the elusive Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell) in Nicolas Roeg’s masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession.

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Bad Timing Directed by Nicolas Roeg
[Theresa Russell’s] ferocious and assured performance (she was only 23) nearly blows her much more experienced co-stars Art Garfunkel and Harvey Keitel off the screen.
January 02, 2019
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The film is a serious work of art (and has its champions), but it was also the beginning of the long, slow end of his career.
November 26, 2018
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Roeg’s film pushes against simplification, however, perhaps even to a fault, cool and distant where it should be hot. Told in serpentining fragments, arrhythmically edited and soundtracked by a grabbag of Tom Waits, The Who, and others, with Art Garfunkel and Theresa Russell as two ragged, consuming lovers, Bad Timing is a singular, disturbing post-mortem of obsession, possession, and desire, uncompromisingly erotic, traumatized, and knotted.
March 23, 2016
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What are people saying?

  • Phil Worfel's rating of the film Bad Timing

    It's Roeg so its going to be interesting in the execution but at no point could I find a point of entry for the characters. Obsession needs to strike a chord in order to be relevant and yet I found myself at a distant remove all the way through the film despite my interest in the subject matter. Really showcases how awful Garfunkel is as an actor and that Carnal Knowledge simply played on his inherent blandness.

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Bad Timing

    Resolved: all love is necrophilia. Also: identity is a can of snakes. Like most of Roeg's films from this period, Bad Timing never entirely shakes its own shakiness, tilting at times towards self-parody and piling on arguably facile allusions -- I'm thinking of the Bowles-ian interlude in particular -- but there's no denying the cumulative power with which it brings love's depredations to tortured, tangled life.

  • Christopher R. Smith's rating of the film Bad Timing

    Fascinating and engrossing relationship drama from director Nicolas Roeg. The disjointed plot is sometimes murky, but the strong characters and elegant performances pull it through - and Roeg's florid camerawork and editing create an exhilarating energy. It can be melodramatic at times, and it does lose some steam in the second half, but this is a very interesting look at sexual psychology.

  • L.A.™'s rating of the film Bad Timing

    What makes this film work for me is Art Garfunkel. A fine turn as a naive obsessed man. Theresa Russell aso anchors the film really well. Roeg shows us his depth touch at capturing people and all their misery! A fine film with an excellent Harvey Keitel in a supporting role!

  • Stian Gledje Bekkvik's rating of the film Bad Timing

    The film as a whole is not worth much to me, but certain rhythms or movements in it are tenants in my body...

  • Richmond Hill's rating of the film Bad Timing

    As with Ken Russell, Roeg benefited from firm backbones (leashes sometimes) to provide support or containment against his surface texturing and visual caprices. Bad Timing for all its dazzle has an uninteresting story, with uninteresting actors playing uninteresting people (with all allusions to The Rank Organisation’s reaction to their own film). The same old tricks on a low heat I’m afraid.

  • A47's rating of the film Bad Timing

    Psychological whore-or. What a GREAT score. A bit understructured in the second act. Unique story and powerful characters. Right up there with Carnal Knowledge but here the character is dishonest with himself to the very end. Nice use of small objects to tell story. Why does this take place in Vienna?

  • a.'s rating of the film Bad Timing

    I was so frustrated with Art Garfunkel's horrific acting and despicable pathetic character, constantly outshined by Theresa Russell's Milena in every scene they appeared together. The film's conclusion however demonstrates in its full extent the lingering theme of insidious male dominance, control and obsession that runs throughout the film. The "twist" is actually not so much a twist for the more critical of us.

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