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The Woman in the Fifth [DVD]
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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...
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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have read the book, then the film will be very disappointing to view, because there is one change in the plot location that affects and ruins the whole tone of the story. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sinbad the Sailor
Doesn't follow the book well at all. What a shame because it is such a great story. No fault of the seller of course.Published 12 months ago by Jolande
I did not watch it all. More French than English, the subtitles were inconsistent, occasionally a flash of text, at times none at all. Read morePublished 12 months ago by vandy
Disapointing, because having read the book I expected so much more. The screen writers and the director have reduced a absorbing, well writen book that was very hard to put down... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Paulm
A poor relation to the book...some enthusiastic acting but really does not convey the emotion, drama or intrigue that you get from the original storyline. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kevin Blackmore