The Color of Time

December 12th, 2014


The Color of Time

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A poetic road trip through Pulitzer prize-winning CK Williams' life.

Release Year: 2012

Rating: 5.1/10 (469 voted)

Critic's Score: 36/100

Director: Edna Luise Biesold

Stars: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain

The Color of Time is based on Pulitzer prize-winning poet CK Williams' collection of the same name. The film blends together adaptations of 11 of the poems to create a poetic road trip through CK William's life. The film takes us on a journey through several decades of American life from CK's childhood and adolescence in Detroit in the 1940s and 50s to the early 1980s: CK and his wife Catherine are married with their son Jed. CK prepares for a reading of 'Tar' in New York City, and spends his nights struggling to write new poems, haunted by memories of his past. As CK drives to his reading in New York City, he remembers central moments of his life: we come to experience and understand both his relationship to love and loss, and how he found his calling as a poet through the women in his life. The film takes us back and forth between past and present, punctuated by voice-over from CK Williams' poems, recreating the experience of memory and exploring how the fragments of one's man life ...

Writers: Edna Luise Biesold, Sarah-Violet Bliss

James Franco - C.K. Williams
Mila Kunis - Catherine
Jessica Chastain - Mrs. Williams
Zach Braff - Albert
Henry Hopper - C.K. Williams
Bruce Campbell - Goody
Giavani Cairo - Dan
Jamie DeKelaita - Party Guest at Entrance
Kimberly Harsch - Woman in window
Jann Hight - Old Woman #2
Vince Jolivette - Mr. Williams
Gabriel Kahaian - Friend
Evan Kole - Boy Croquet Player
Lauren Kole - Girl Croquet Player
Robert Langley - Homeless Veteran

Taglines: A poetic look at author C.K. Williams' life over the course of 40 years.

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 9 December 2014

Filming Locations: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

It's the second time James Franco, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff, Bruce Campbell and Mia Serafino play together in a movie. See more »

User Review


Rating: 6/10

11 directors assemble to present an interesting concept based on the autobiographical works of writer C.K. Williams, creating an unusual cine biography of the writer, played by James Franco (as an adult) and Henry Hopper (as a teenage). A road movie that chronicles important passages of Williams life and his views on his own past, present and future. Since I don't know anything of Williams productions neither about his life, I can only analyze the movie for what it brought to the table. I think the idea works, from time to time, but it could be better developed with another character, another artist (Greenaway's "Darwin" is a fascinating example of a fragmented portrayal of a historic figure).

"Tar" doesn't disappoint, though it can leave some audiences confused about the real purpose of the movie, or confused about the constant flashbacks which expose the many experiences of Williams. It's built in the same fashion of "The Tree of Life" (coincidentally or not, Jessica Chastain plays a caring mother of the 1950's once again) but without the same visual splendor and beauty of Malick's masterpiece, despite the marvelous locations and poetic voice overs. I loved the way the "story" moved, quietly and with patience to absorb everything (despite its lack of profoundity), and I enjoyed the acting from the whole cast - though I couldn't figure out what Zach Braff was doing with his tiny part as Williams friend. A good poetic rendition that works as long as you can connect with the artists and the environment envisioned by him. Fans of the author may enjoy it more cause they know his words and can compare if they translate well to the screen. 6/10


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