Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas
The Buzz: Ethan Hawke returns to Europe in this adaptation of a novel by Douglas Kennedy.
The Story: American writer Tom Ricks (Hawke) arrives in Paris 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, and meets the mysterious Margit (Thomas).
inSing.com says: Cryptic and leaving more questions than answers by the time it concludes, ‘The Woman in The Fifth’ is an enigmatic drama that will frustrate viewers used to tidy storylines.
Hawke fumbles his way through as the bedraggled Ricks, trying to keep things together but not succeeding very well.
Thomas plays the mysterious Margit, claiming to be an editor and a muse, who seduces Ricks. Her role is sorely underdeveloped, and she remains an ephemeral figure. The chemistry between the two leads is also lacking, particularly with Margit steering the relationship.
The air of mystery that surrounds the film never clears by the end of the film, and the ending is mostly anticlimactic.
Despite its short 80-minute running time, the film does bog down in the end, and while Polish director Pawel Pawilokski is able to conjure up luscious, dream-like images, he never manages to steer the film in a strong direction.
Viewers are likely to leave the theatre more confused than satisfied.
Travis Wong is a film loving geek who got his start from frequenting video shops in JB. He frequented movie theaters more often than school, and received his cinematic epiphany when he watched 'Taxi Driver'. While not driving a cab, he haunts DVD shops, and he currently has the largest remaining collection of VHS tapes and Laserdiscs in the country.