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The Woman in the Fifth [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Kristen Scott Thomas
  • Directors: Pawal Pawlikowski
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Jun 2012
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007A1FUAC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,169 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Ethan Hawke (Brooklyn s Finest) plays Harry Ricks in this adaptation of novelist Douglas Kennedy s erotic thriller by the director of My Summer of Love & Last Resort .

Ricks' life is out of control - separated from his wife, he heads to Paris in search of his daughter and the bohemian life of a would-be writer. But a series of encounters with the wrong kind of people start to push him towards free fall, until he meets mysterious émigré, Margit, played by Kristin Scott Thomas (Sarah s Key), who seduces him and appears to offer him the hedonistic and uncomplicated life he craves...

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 April 2012
Format: DVD
There are some films where it's almost impossible to go into detail without spoiling your enjoyment of the movie. `Woman in the Fifth' is one of those. It's an intricate, intelligent, fragmented thriller which plays with notions of reality and the boundary between imagination and actuality. Normally I'd try to tell you more about it... but I'm on thin ice here!

The film-making is exquisite. This is a modern day tale but it feels like (and references) Orwell's Paris of the 1930s, and the erratic protagonist is most definitely down and out. A troubled American writer who initially appears to be a on quest to reunite with his estranged French family, he stumbles chaotically through a washed-out, sparsely uninhabited urban landscape and seeks solace in the fictional forest he created for his first (and only) published novel.
Ethan Hawke establishes an entirely convincing character who seems caught in the roiling currents of circumstance. Rebuffed and bewildered, he drifts into territory which is both threatening and seductive. Desperate for a reunion with his beloved young daughter, he ends up in sordid situations which take a surreal turn into murder and mayhem. Finally his daughter's life is threatened and he must face up to the malign influence which has almost unravelled his existence. The ending is... ambiguous, but earlier scenes provide some important cues about what might be happening.
The supporting cast is wonderful; not just Kristen Scott-Thomas as the woman herself, but also the Polish waitress who befriends him, and the charmingly sinister Sezer who provides the writer with accommodation and employment - but at what cost?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 July 2013
Format: DVD
I watched this straight after Polisse and I must say its more measured tone seemed initially rather flat; however there are quite a lot of striking images in this film and it is, at the very least, cinematic. Ethan Hawke is an excellent actor, almost unrecognisable from the newly released Before Midnight, and even his voice is completely different (it's also a role he plays largely in French). However the film is only mildly diverting, I would say; not much happens for much of the time, beyond the establishment of a highly strange set of circumstances in contemporary Paris, involving a not-quite-there American writer, his estranged wife and child, a slightly sinister boarding house he stays in, a Polish girl who works there, and a wealthy woman who lives in the 5th arrondissement (Kristin Scott Thomas). It's mainly about atmosphere, and it's not at all clear where it's going; then in the last 20 minutes things start to move fast - whether it really works is open to question, I would say, and it is presumably meant to remain somewhat shrouded in mystery anyway. It reminded me of a film called The Music of Chance from the early 90s with James Spader and Mandy Patinkin, but actually that was a better film with more shafts of humour and a deeper feeling. It also explores a similar area of meaning to Ozon's recent In the House, also with Scott Thomas, but again, Ozon's film has more wit and compels you more. For all its awareness of images I don't think The Woman In The Fifth is all that interesting to watch or a very good vehicle for the actors.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Mar 2012
Format: DVD
The opening scenes promise a moving and intriguing drama as we are introduced to the confused and dysfunctional world of Tom, an American lecturer and writer, estranged from his French wife and barred from seeing his small daughter. He gradually falls under the spell of Margit, a mysterious older woman, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, "the woman in the fifth" by virtue of her address, and possibly something else as well. In the background we see the initially plain, childlike Polish waitress who who may bring Tom a truer peace than Margit,

Proceeding at a slow pace, with lingering shots of distinctive faces, a balcony with a blurred suggestion of the Eiffel Tower in the background, red insects on dark tree bark, threadlike spiders spinning webs in a police cell, this film weaves a sense of tension, even menace, and begins to insert surreal moments between scenes of clear rationality.

When it ended quite abruptly after little over 80 minutes, I was left feeling cheated, trying to work out exactly what had happened, wondering what clues I had missed, but not doing so too hard since it seemed that the director had resorted to the realms of the supernatural, or madness, to provide a denouement. This reminded me afterwards of Hitchcock's "Vertigo", recrafted for the present day.

The film is based loosely on a novel which seems to have prompted mixed reviews and perplexed readers in a similar fashion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sindri on 15 Aug 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Polish-born screenwriter and director Pawel Pawlikowski`s fourth feature film which he wrote, is an adaptation of a novel from 2007 by American writer Douglas Kennedy. It was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival in 2011 and is a France-Poland-UK co-production which was shot on locations in Paris, France and produced by producers Caroline Banjo and Carole Scotta. It tells the story about Tom Ricks, an American university professor and writer who goes to Paris, France where his ex-wife Nathalie and their adolescent daughter Chloe lives. He gets himself a room at a place run by a man named Mr. Sezer and tries to get in touch with his daughter, but due to a restraining order he has to find ways to see his daugher without being noticed by Nathalie. While searching for opportunities to rekindle with Chloe, Tom befriends a Polish woman and at a literary gathering he meets a woman named Margit who intrigues him.

Precisley and finely directed by Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from the protagonist`s point of view, draws a moving portrayal of a struggling writer`s relationship with his young daughter, a friendly waitress and a mysterious widow. While notable for its atmospheric milieu depictions, fine production design by production designer Benoit Barouch, cinematography by Polish cinematographer Rysznard Lenczewski, editing by film editor David Charap and use of colors which empashizes it`s poignant atmosphere, this character-driven psychological thriller depicts an intriguing an internal study of character and contains a good score by British composer Max De Wardener.
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