The Woman in the Fifth (and my solo cinema experience)

There are lots and lots of times when I doubt that I should even hope to be a writer, that I am smart enough to be in this Degree…etc. ‘The Woman in the Fifth’ didn’t really reassure my fears. I decided to be all independent woman and go to the cinema alone. I cheated a little, as I really wanted to see The Muppets in the Moviehouse, but no housemates would come, so I settled for the QFT (Queen’s Film Theatre) which is basically up the street, a teeny arty cinema with two screens and a bar of sorts. So I didn’t have to eat a bucket of popcorn myself, or anything. They don’t serve popcorn. Just bags of chocolate sweets, which I am off for lent anyway.

I said to my housemates earlier in the day that I would be ok if nobody looked at me, and as I stood about the foyer/bar for five or ten minutes I did see some people looking at the girl fiddling with her hand bag and phone, obviously on her own. (I also ended up sneaking out of the flat like I was ashamed of where I was going!)

However, I sat near the front, didn’t put my coat on another chair until I was sure no one was going to sit there. A man did sit in my row 1 seat away from me which annoyed me slightly.

In the wake of a scandal a haunted novelist flees to Paris hoping to reunite with his estranged wife and daughter.Β  Down-and-out, he finds a job as a night-watchman in a seedy hotel and gets involved with two women, a Polish blonde and Margit, a striking widow with her own dodgy past who soon seduces him. Struggling with his inner demons he finds himself drawn into a bewildering, Kafkaesque conundrum in the murky shadows of an unfamiliar Paris. (Picture and summary from here)

*Possible spoilers

It was a very eerie film, and I was a little jumpy in parts. I was attracted to it because the protagonist is a writer, of course. I did feel for Ricks but I also wanted to know what he had done. As a writer he had only written one novel and seemed constantly in search of inspiration for another. His first novel title was ‘Forest Life’ and the film kept casting back to a rainy forest scene clips, which was very unsettling. He was writing a very long letter to his daughter Chloe throughout the film, and it was kind of a narration throughout. I don’t know why he had a further affair with a Polish waitress when he has Margit. However, Margit is not what she seems at all. There is a murder… and I still don’t know who actually did it.Β  Poor Tom seems to be losing it. It was captivating and beautifully shot. I liked Ethan Hawke’s performance, I had to rewatch bits of Hamlet 2000 for an essay that many times recently, and he is only 27 there, so I was a little shocked to see that he had matured! (A small google tells me he is 41) Kristen Scott Thomas is too smiley and kind of weirded me out.

I had a basically good experience, felt a little strange, possibly sad about going alone. But I wanted to at the same time.

Have you seen this film? Want to see it? I’d kind of like to discuss it with someone. I would recommend it for that reason amongst others…

Author: Fiona @ lifelyricslemoncake

6 thoughts on “The Woman in the Fifth (and my solo cinema experience)”

  1. I can’t see I’ve seen the film (or erm, HEARD of it!) but good for you for going to the cinema on your own. I’m sure no one else actually noticed or cared that you were on your own. Before I moved to the UK, I went all the time and I absolutely loved it. Nobody to share the popcorn with, nobody to say ‘really? a romantic comedy? what about this instead…’ just go when I feel like it and see whatever. I wish I had that sort of luxury these days πŸ™‚

    1. That wee cinema only gets 2 films at a time and they are always arty and not blockbusters or anything!

      I imagine such things are easier in America too? People are very judgemental in these parts, but I don’#t think anyone cared, either!

  2. Hey, it was fun/funny to read about people in the west feeling hesitant going for movies alone. I just wound up writing about my experience of eating out alone in Delhi. Was good to stumble upon this immediately after. I would imagine doing stuff alone would be easier in a safer and more open-minded country but then i guess somethings are common the world over πŸ˜€

  3. Reblogged this on allthatsdelhi and commented:
    Was fun to read this post… similar to mine on eating out alone in Delhi. This one’s about watching a movie alone in UK..maybe I’ll do that soon enough here. But I guess will do it in a locality where nobody will recognize me :p

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