Full Time (‘À Plein Temps’)

DRAMA; 1hr 27min (French with subtitles)

STARRING: Laure Calamy, Geneviève Mnich

No time: Calamy

A newsreader’s crack-of-dawn prediction of massive traffic jams in Paris sets the tone for a scramble that never stops for the harassed Julie Roy (Call My Agent! ’s Calamy). Julie is head chambermaid in a five-star hotel, a job that takes due diligence above and beyond when combined with the solo raising of two young children (Nolan Arizmendi and Sasha Lemaitre Cremaschi), an inconveniently absent ex who won’t return her calls, the train strike that turns the commute from her village to Paris into a quagmire and a make-break market-research job interview coming up — if only she can manage to get to it.


The tension Julie endures is exhausting and all-pervasive, ratcheted sky high with urgency and flair by writer-director Eric Gravel, highlighted by a staccato soundtrack and carried with exasperated grace by the endlessly watchable Calamy. As a study in perpetual motion, Julie wrangles her kids, squeezes onto trains and buses (or failing that, bets the farm by hitching rides), pleads for latitude with her tight-lipped nanny (Mnich) and fine-tunes luxury hotel rooms to militaristic precision, all with the hard-wired resignation of a sitting duck deprived of a choice.


The question of how much duress one person can continue to withstand is a luxury those in the hot seat can’t afford to ask, although it is the one you’ll want answered while Julie hurtles through a numbing whirl of days-to-nights. But even as the strike devolves into violence and her situation grows increasingly hopeless, she takes intrepid shape as a poster girl for persistence, pushing back time and again against the insults of the outwardly impossible.