The Clockwatchers


Middle 40-60% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

1997 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Toni Collette, Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, Alanna Ubach, Helen Fitzgerald, Stanley DeSantis, Jamie Kennedy, Debra Jo Rupp, Bob Balaban, Paul Dooley

Non-Cast Credits

Jill Sprecher, Gina Resnick, John Flock, John Quested, Guy Collins, Jill Sprecher, Karen Sprecher, Jim Denault, Stephen Mirrione, Pamela Marcotte


Iris (Muriels Wedding's Toni Collette) doesn't mind temporary work. She gets to go to new places, be a part of the crowd, and do different things each day. That gives her plenty of time to think, and the people are cordial enough.At Global Credit, she makes friends with the other temps right away. Margaret (Parker Posey) shows her the ropes, including tips on getting the most out of the job.Then there's Paula (Lisa Kudrow), waiting for her acting career to explode, and Jane (Alanna Ubach), waiting for her boyfriend to propose. They form a group, sharing the stigma of not being accepted by the"permanents." But when the president of the company hires a new assistant, and strange events follow, the temps' delicate bond comes unraveled. The women turn on each other in a downward spiral of paranoia, suspicion, and betrayal.

The Clockwatchers paints a hilariously unforgettable, intimate portrait of the day-to-day nuances of office life.The monotonous routine of an oppressive job is perfectly captured in the film's examination of minute details. Director Jill Sprecher makes the mundane fascinating, not an easy task. Her screenplay collaboration with Karen Sprecher marks a stunning achievement in original storytelling, pacing, and human drama.The timely theme of transience in contemporary society is explored through the tenuous connections between people, objects, and events. Office politics and intrigue are at the surface, while the film ultimately wrestles with the search for identity and meaning. If you've ever worked in an office, this film will call out to you.


Lisa Viola (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.