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La femme du Vème (2011)

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A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Light, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders.

Director:

Pawel Pawlikowski

Writers:

Douglas Kennedy (novel), Pawel Pawlikowski (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Tom Ricks
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Margit
Joanna Kulig ... Ania
Samir Guesmi ... Sezer
Delphine Chuillot Delphine Chuillot ... Nathalie
Julie Papillon Julie Papillon ... Chloé
Geoffrey Carey Geoffrey Carey ... Laurent
Mamadou Minte Mamadou Minte ... Omar
Mohamed Aroussi Mohamed Aroussi ... Moussa
Jean-Louis Cassarino Jean-Louis Cassarino ... Dumont
Judith Burnett Judith Burnett ... Lorraine L'herbert
Marcela Iacub Marcela Iacub ... Isabella
Wilfred Benaïche Wilfred Benaïche ... Lieutenand Coutard
Pierre Marcoux Pierre Marcoux ... Lawyer
Rosine Favey Rosine Favey ... Lawyer's Translator
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Storyline

American writer Tom Ricks comes to Paris desperate to put his life together again and win back the love of his estranged wife and daughter. When things don't go according to plan, he ends up in a shady hotel in the suburbs, having to work as a night guard to make ends meet. Then Margit, a beautiful, mysterious stranger walks into his life and things start looking up. Their passionate and intense relationship triggers a string of inexplicable events... as if an obscure power was taking control of his life. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What you can not resist, you may not survive See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content, language and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France | Poland | UK

Language:

English | French | Polish

Release Date:

16 November 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Woman in the Fifth See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,011, 17 June 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$112,498, 15 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The Big Picture: February 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Tomaszów
Written by Julian Tuwim
Performed bz Ewa Demarczyk
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User Reviews

 
A poetic and dreamlike psychological thriller set in Paris
2 November 2012 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a surrealistic tour de force shot in French by Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, who also wrote the screenplay based upon the novel by American author Douglas Kennedy. Two of Kennedy's other novels have been filmed previously, the last being THE BIG PICTURE (2010), also shot in French. As for Pawlikowski, this is his fourth feature film, the previous one being MY SUMMER OF LOVE (2004). Before that he was a highly praised director of documentaries for British television. This film is very much in the tradition of André Breton's surrealistic novel NADJA, which has inspired so much of subsequent French fiction and cinema. We have the mysterious woman who may be mad, whom the novelist hero cannot resist, we have the strange regions of Paris, we have the atmosphere of dream and illusion. Hawke, having been rejected by his ex-wife and forbidden to approach or speak to his daughter, gets onto a Paris bus and falls asleep. He is woken at the end of line to discover that his luggage and all his money has been stolen from him while he slept. He goes into a small Arab café near the bus stop to order a coffee and try to think what to do. The Arab owner offers him a room to stay in in return for confiscating his passport. The owner is married to a pathetic, depressed young Polish girl who dreams of better things but is trapped in her circumstances. Hawke, unable to sort out any other possibility for himself, accepts a mysterious night job operating access to a gangster hideout associated with the owner of the café. One day he wanders into a bookshop and is recognised by a man working there as the author of a well-known novel. The man enthusiastically invites him to a gathering of poets and writers, which he attends some days later. There he meets the infinitely mysterious 'woman of the Fifth' ('the Fifth' here is a section of the Left Bank of Paris, not a measure of whiskey), named Margit, played with arch menace and erotic intensity by Kristin Scott Thomas. He appeals to her and he ends up becoming involved with her at her insistence. But then bizarre things begin to happen. People start getting killed and he is arrested for a murder he did not commit. He takes refuge in the arms of Joanna Kulig, the young Polish actress who plays the café owner's wife. This too has consequences. Things become increasingly complex and inexplicable, and events seem to become more and more imaginary, as Hawke struggles to understand what is happening. The film's atmosphere is thick enough to cut with a knife, and the film is very artfully made. If you want to be puzzled and fascinated by mysteries which appear insoluble, this is for you.


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