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Five Times Two(5x2)

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France · 2004
Rated R · 1h 30m
Director François Ozon
Starring Valeria Bruni‑Tedeschi, Stéphane Freiss, Géraldine Pailhas, Françoise Fabian
Genre Drama, Romance

As young French couple Gilles and Marion officially separate, we see, in reverse order, the milestone moments in their relationship: Gilles revealing his unfaithfulness at a dinner party; Marion giving birth to their son while Gilles is elsewhere; Gilles and Marion's joyous wedding; and, finally, the fateful moment when their love affair began.

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What are critics saying?


New York Post by

France's François Ozon's 5 x 2, which resembles Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage" told in reverse, could be played for laughs, or suspense -- who killed this marriage? -- or with the rueful irony of Stephen Sondheim's backward musical "Merrily We Roll Along."


Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

In the end I respected 5x2 more than I loved it. As we move backward in time, the distance between audience and characters inevitably widens -- we know what's going to happen and they don't -- and I found the effect a little astringent.


The New York Times by Dana Stevens

Told in the usual sequence, the story of Gilles and Marion would be a banal bell curve of infatuation, bliss, boredom, regret and recrimination. As it is, 5x2 does not quite make the case that Gilles and Marion are entirely worth our interest, let alone our sympathy, but the reversal of narrative order gives their ordinary moments together a faint aura of mystery, as Mr. Ozon teases us with the conceit that it will all make sense in the end - or rather, the beginning.


Variety by Lisa Nesselson

Excellent perfs and writer-director Francois Ozon's sure, unfussy way with the camera add up to a viewing experience whose richness depends in large part on how much the viewer reads into the human templates on display.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Unlike "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind," which holds the memories of a doomed affair as precious, there's nothing bittersweet about Ozon's failed romance, but its problems are equally true.

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