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. 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)
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. 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…