The Woman in the Fifth France, Poland, UK 2011 – 93min.

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La femme du Vème

Movie Rating: Agathe Tissier

An American novelist goes to Paris to try and gain custody of his daughter.

Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke) has written just one book. He goes to Paris with the hope of reconnecting with his daughter, despite a court order that forbids him to do so. He gets robbed, finds a room in a fleabag hotel that he can't pay, and accepts the job of night watchman offered by its owner. He meets the enigmatic Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas) who seduces him and tries to convince him to give up his quest for happiness, telling him his familial pain, his poverty and their passionate relationship will unleash his writing talent...

Luckily, this is Pawel Pawlikowski's adaptation of Douglas Kennedy's novel, which means there is an actual written version of this bizarre story available for consultation – for those courageous enough to want to make sense of the intrigue. It's all a slow descent into the writer's own hell; a slippery mess of total incomprehension. Viewers may end up wishing the Femme du Vème had a balcony to throw oneself off of...



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