Five Times Two

2004 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.6 10 9266

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 7 / 10

Five Moments of a Relationship of a Couple

The end and beginning of the love of the French couple Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles (Stéphane Freiss) is disclosed backwards through five moments in their lives:

1st moment: They divorce and have one last brutal intercourse without love.

2nd moment: With their relationship shaken, they have a dinner party with Gilles's gay brother Christophe (Antoine Chappey) and his younger mate, when an infidelity is disclosed at the dinner table.

3rd moment: The troubled pregnancy of Marion and the delivery of their premature son Nicolas, with the total absence of Giles.

4th moment: Their wedding, when Marion commits adultery with an unknown guest of the hotel.

5th moment: .When they meet each other in an Italian resort and begin their relationship.

This simple and realistic movie recalls "Irreversible" (2002), since the screenplay discloses five moments of the relationship of a couple chronologically backwards. I believe the first intention of François Ozon is to remember that behind every divorce, there is a couple that loved each other in the past, that decided to marry each other expecting to live together and raise a family of their own. However, relationships usually deteriorate and time destroys everything including love. In these fragmented glimpses of the lives of Marion and Gilles, the viewer does not see exactly when their love ended, but after their initial encounter, there are many signs suggesting the beginning of the end: the adultery of Marion in the wedding night; the absence of Gilles in the birth of his son; his consented participation in an orgy in the presence of Marion, visibly showing one sort of last attempt to save their empty marriage. Further to the good screenplay, the outstanding and strong performances of the sexy Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Stéphane Freiss give the credibility to the characters. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Amor em 5 Tempos" ("Love in 5 Times")

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 8 / 10

she's a woman and he's a man

How to tell the life of a couple nowadays? This is what François Ozon tried to study in his new feature-length movie, "5x2" (2004). I went to see it at the movies on the first day of its release and it didn't disappoint me at all. Ozon chose to focus on five precise moments in the life of a couple. Originality, these moments are related backwards! It means that the film begins with the divorce between the two main characters and it ends with their meeting. Ozon declared that he was influenced by a TV film made by Jane Campion a couple of years ago which told a friendship between two young girls. Campion's work began with their separation and it ended with their meeting.

It is significant to notice that in Ozon's cinema, the couple never remains stable. In "Under the Sand" (2000), Bruno Cremer disappeared leaving Charlotte Rampling hopeless. In "8 Women" (2002), Catherine Deneuve wanted to leave her husband for her lover. In "5x2", the couple formed by Gilles (Stéphane Freiss) and Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) isn't an exception to the rule and presents a dull and bitter image. From the beginning (it means at the end of the film!) their relationship is bound to fail. There's a cue pronounced by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi before they are going to swim: "We shouldn't go and swim in this part of the sea. It is dangerous". This "part of the sea" can be taken for a connotation of their forthcoming tormented love life.

Then to tell their slow but inevitable disintegration, the director preferred to leave low-key several parts of dialogs or sequences. There are 2 examples to prove it. Gilles doesn't attend Marion's childbirth and we really don't know why. A sign of cowardice? Maybe... On another hand, in the first step of the movie when they are in the hotel room, Ozon lets us suggest that they have both a lover which may have caused their divorce (to notice that in this step, when Gilles tries to have sex with Marion, it can be taken for a hopeless try to reform the couple). It could mean that Ozon's screenplay remains unfinished. Besides, he once declared that he hated writing and his scripts were nearly always unfinished. But, in reality he plays with the spectator once again. Ozon wants him to take part in his movie as much as possible the following way: it is to him to formulate ideas or hypotheses that are likely to explain the ambiguous points scattered throughout the movie.

Furthermore, the movie contains several details that speak volume about the progressive disintegration of the couple. The beginning of the movie shows us a bearded Stéphane Freiss with the disenchanted air and a pale, sad Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi. Ozon also put in a lot of effort in the light. The beginning of the movie takes us to rather dark rooms while the end presents shiny landscapes.

At last, we really can't say that Gilles and Marion form a united couple. During their wedding night, Marion spends the night outside with a stranger and the fact that Gilles doesn't attend his wife's childbirth nearly causes an argument between Marion and her parents. So, Ozon made somber two events which are in general happy ones.

Even if the originality that had secured François Ozon's reputation is less pronounced in his new movie (except as I previously said in the order of these five moments), "5x2" is a new success in this genuine film-maker's work who doesn't seem to be out of inspiration. Let's hope it lasts!

Reviewed by sunwarrior13 10 / 10

Love Story And Original Storytelling

5x2 is a French film that tells five short stories which uncovers the back story to the gradual disintegration of a middle class marriage by depicting five key moments in the relationship.It stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Stéphane Freiss.The movie is written and directed by François Ozon.

5x2 puts into the microscope the rise and fall of one couple's marriage. Gilles and Marion have filed for divorce following several years of marriage, and after the judge declares their union is over, the story follows the couple through five lengthy flashbacks, presented in reverse chronological order, in which glimpses of their lives together are shown, ending with the couple meeting for the first time.

5x2 follows the peaks and valleys of Gilles and Marion's relationship, viewers witness a few of the many small events that make up a marriage.It was engrossing and absorbing from beginning to end.Despite of its flaws and it is far from being a classic French movie,I personally found this film excellent and outstanding.Also,the idea of telling the story of the film in five short episodes that presents the relationship's development is original and refreshing.

Overall,this is one film that is highly recommended for a viewer who wants a great love story in another form of storytelling.

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