The Woman In The Fifth film review: Tense Parisian psychodrama
The Woman In The Fifth (15)
An American writer guilty of unspecified violence against his ex-wife comes to Paris seeking a route back into her and their daughter’s lives.
But before the stamp on his passport has dried, Tom (Ethan Hawke) has lost his luggage, his wallet and any hope of reconciliation.
A chance encounter with another author’s widow, Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), launches a torrid but troubled romance that plays out against the backdrop of his disintegrating life and ultimately threatens the safety of his daughter.
The characters of Kristin Scott Thomas and Ethan Hawke embark on a torrid romance in the movie
Hawke is splendid in this psychological thriller with supernatural nuances. So robustly does he reject the Hollywood heart-throbbery of his youth that his teeth could conceivably have been borrowed from an Englishman.
Every inch of him speaks of an escalating sense of impotent rage that somehow succeeds in eliciting sympathy without letting us forget that Tom is capable of terrible things.
A street scene after he learns from a lawyer that seeking custody of his daughter is financially impossible is coruscating in its emotional violence.
With two furious, feral screams, he conveys more feeling than an hour of soliloquy could ever hope to.
Based loosely on a Douglas Kennedy novel, the whole is unapologetically literary with Tom’s fate raising at least as many questions as it answers.