The Woman in the Fifth

2011 [FRENCH]

Drama / Mystery / Thriller

IMDb Rating 5.3 10 6170

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 18, 2021 at 10:16 PM


Ethan Hawke as Tom Ricks
Joanna Kulig as Ania
Samir Guesmi as Sezer
767.85 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by napierslogs 5 / 10

An off-beat thriller delving into the crime world of reality and fantasy almost impossible to understand

"The Woman in the Fifth" throws us into the middle of the story. Seemingly a perfect way to start, a back-story is implied begging to be told, and future events destined to unfold to eventually come together in an interesting climax and dénouement. But the back-story never was revealed and the plot elements are indiscernible to the average eye.

Tom (Ethan Hawke) is an American writer moving to Paris. His first novel was a moderate success and he is most likely suffering from various creative blocks, probably not helped by the fact that his ex-wife has a restraining order against him, prohibiting him from seeing his daughter.

At this point, we are driven into a world of crime – not surprising for a thriller, but we don't know what crimes yet. Broke and alone, Tom makes a deal with a shady "businessman", develops an affair with a mysterious worldly woman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and then develops an affair with a sweetly mysterious waitress (Joanna Kulig).

For the few crimes that we do know were committed, it's awfully hard to understand why or by whom. The reality of the film and the imagination (or fantasy) element of the film are most likely impossible to separate. Almost all viewers have come up with different explanations, if they came up with any.

It can be interesting watching a jarring film and deduce whatever explanation you like. It can also be disappointing if you don't come up with any explanation that you like. I'm afraid I fall into the latter group.

That being said, it's nice seeing Ethan Hawke in a lead role in an indie. And speaking French no less (not perfectly, but it fits the role)! The imagery and cinematography chosen for this film were interesting and walked the thin line between thriller and horror, helped along with a slightly off-beat score. "The Woman in the Fifth" is off- beat, if it's anything at all.

Reviewed by gradyharp 7 / 10

A Labyrinth of Question of Fantasy and Reality

Douglas Kennedy's perplexing novel THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH has been further contorted by writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski for the film of the same name (aka La femme du Vème). If the viewer has read the novel then the confusion of the story will not be as surprising as it is to the novice viewer. In many ways this is a brilliant cinematic exploration of the fragility of the human mind, how events of the past can influence the manner in which we attempt to reconstruct a viable present. But in other ways this is a film that refuses to tell a story that is logical and will leave many viewers with some serious head scratching by movie's end.

Academic professor of literature and writer Tom Hicks (Ethan Hawke) seems to be fleeing America in the wake of a scandal simply because he wants to see his six-year-old daughter Chloé (Julie Papillon): Tom's estranged wife Nathalie (Delphine Chuillot) refuses to let Tom see his daughter, has a restraining order in place and seems fearful of Tom's character (it is suggested that Tom may have been in prison for the past six years). The police are called and Tom escapes onto a bus, falls asleep and s awakened at the end of the line having been robbed of this luggage and money. He is in the sleazy part of Paris inhabited by North Africans and Moroccans and finds a degree of solace in a tiny café, the beautiful Polish waitress Ania (Joanna Kulig) offers him coffee and introduces him to the owner, Sezer (Samir Guesmi) who allows him to room in the filthy place, an offer that is accompanied by a 'job' where he will be a night watchman in a warehouse visited by shadowy figures who must give a code for Tom to allow entry. Tom uses his night jobsite to write lengthy letters to Chloé and spends his days spying on her at her school. At a bookstore he meets a fellow American who invites him to an evening reception for writers and there he encounters the very strange Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), a bewitching but enigmatic widow of a Hungarian writer who is obviously attracted to Tom and sets meeting times and places for them to engage in a tryst (in the Fifth Arrondissement). Tom and Margit begin a tempestuous physical affair but at the same time Tom and Ania have an equally passionate affair and there is always in the background Tom's obsession to reunite with his daughter. But the story implodes with a murder, a disappearance, and a very strange change in the veracity of Margit's existence. It is at this point that the film becomes purposefully deranged and bizarre and the audience is left with merely some ideas and clues as to what has really happened. How are these incongruous events to make sense? Can they make sense? Is Tom succumbing to the same fever that kept him sheltered for many days upon his arrival in beautiful Paris? Has time somehow passed him by or is he living in an even grander deceit than he first thought?

The film is basically in French with English subtitles. Ethan Hawke struggle with the French but that is credible for a 'just arrived' American. Kristin Scott Thomas offers her usual excellent skills as the strange Margit and the remainder of the cast do well with what little dialogue they are given. The dank atmospheric cinematography is by Ryszard Lenczewski and the correctly strange musical score (from an aria form a Handel opera sung by a countertenor to piano music excerpts form the Romantic era) is the work of Max de Wardener. Pawel Pawlikowski's moody, menacing, downbeat film takes something from the director's Polish compatriots Polanski and Kieslowski. It is offbeat but for those who appreciate experimental cinema this is well worth your time.

Grady Harp

Reviewed by ken_bethell 7 / 10

Clever and imaginative

A Polish director and an enigmatic movie - no surprise there then! What does surprise me is the relatively low rating that viewers have awarded, presumably because they didn't understand or attempt to understand the symbolisms. Any movie that makes you sit and think - even if your initial reaction is unfavourable - deserves a higher mark especially when you consider the unimaginative dross continually being served up by Hollywood.Ethan Hawke is very good as the confused and dishevelled writer coming to terms with life in Paris after being institutionalised and becoming estranged from his family. What had he done? With hindsight it is possible to interpret the events that follow as chapters in his mind that happen immediately after his incarceration. He is in fact never released. His wife's hostility and the loss of his luggage - a pretty obvious metaphor - represent the breaking of ties with his former life. The shabby hotel, hostile neighbour and a daily routine of watching people entering a secure area are all symbolic of life in a mental institution which he observes while attempting to write letters to his daughter that she will never receive. His daughter found wandering in a park alludes to his initial breakdown. Kristin Scott Thomas, as alluring as ever, plays one of his two sexual fantasies conjured up from his literary past. Exotic, desirable and willing she seduces him into leaving his miserable life and joining her forever: an undoubted euphemism for suicide. At least the blinding white light that followed was unmistakable. Well that's my take. You may have a different explanation altogether but it surely emphasises my initial assertion that any film that can make you think is a good film no matter what the subject matter.

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