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5X2


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5x2
"5x2" (Five Times Two) is written & directed by Francois Ozon, who previously made the English language film "Swimming Pool." That film was a noir-ish murder mystery with lots of sex. A lot of people didn't like it, a lot of people loved it. I fall into the second category. In 5x2 he takes a step back as far as entertainment, but takes a step forward in realism. This...
Published on August 14, 2006 by Joshua Miller

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (5 x 2) - (2 x 2) = 3***
I want to point out right away that I thought Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is excellent in this film. After just watching her rather low key performance as a police inspector in Claude Chabrol's The Color of Lies, she shows a dynamic emotional range that I wouldn't have thought her capable. It may be her acting skills have really been finely tuned in the 6 years between...
Published on March 1, 2006 by Doctor Trance


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5x2, August 14, 2006
This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
"5x2" (Five Times Two) is written & directed by Francois Ozon, who previously made the English language film "Swimming Pool." That film was a noir-ish murder mystery with lots of sex. A lot of people didn't like it, a lot of people loved it. I fall into the second category. In 5x2 he takes a step back as far as entertainment, but takes a step forward in realism. This movie isn't very original, the story's been done before and the reversal thing's been done hundreds of times...But the dialogue and events happen pretty realistically, which helps. When we meet Gilles (Stephane Freiss) and Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), a married couple they are in front of a divorce lawyer about ready to sign their divorce papers. Once they do and they are officially divorced, they go to a motel room and have quick meaningless sex that neither one of them enjoys. After Gilles asks Marion if she'd like to try again (marriage, that is) she simply leaves. The film jumps backwards to a fairly awkward moment. Gilles and Marion are entertaining Gilles' gay brother and his boyfriend, where Gilles makes some fairly odd revelations. Skipping back again, we see the difficult birth of their son Nicolas; Their marriage; How they met and then, finally, them walking off into the sunset after their first encounter. I know it sounds as if I just ruined the ffilm for you, but rest assured. I just described every event in the film and didn't really tell you anything. This is a good foreign-film; This movie could take place in America just as easily and almost everything Ozon has in this film really happens to the most average couples (with the exception of Gilles' revelation. That only happens with certain ones). The film is no masterpiece and it's not "Brilliant!" like the cover says. It's an interesting character study for sure, the scenes of nudity are nice, and it keeps you fairly entertained. As I said, his previous effort Swimming Pool was much better...But this isn't a bad film. In a few words; Rent It First.

GRADE: B
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (5 x 2) - (2 x 2) = 3***, March 1, 2006
By 
Doctor Trance (MA, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
I want to point out right away that I thought Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is excellent in this film. After just watching her rather low key performance as a police inspector in Claude Chabrol's The Color of Lies, she shows a dynamic emotional range that I wouldn't have thought her capable. It may be her acting skills have really been finely tuned in the 6 years between films, or it could have just been the way her unemotional character was written for Chabrol's film. Either way, she makes this very dark film, enlightening.

The film portrays a 5 point timeline in the lives of one married couple just completing a divorce. The events are shown in reverse order: 1) the divorce, 2) nearing the end of their marriage, 3) the birth of their son, 4) their wedding night, and 5) when they first became attracted to each other. Breaking the film up into 5 segments actually seems to speed the film along, and breaks the monotony of what could otherwise have been just another talky, morality driven French film.

I think the reverse order is a creative way to tell the tale, however, you ought to make sure the two last chapters (or first chapters) are strong enough to carry the weight of the end of the film. Unfortunately, the first 3 events are what makes this film, and it sadly tails off with the last 2. They are suppose to be the more upbeat time of the relationship, and should be the most satisfying of the film, but we are left with one that is very contrived, and the other rather dull.

The opening divorce sequence is very moving, and opens the very dramatic first hour of the film. We quickly see how much of an a-hole Gilles (the husband) really is, and how seemingly sweet Marion is (that is, until the wedding night sequence). The next event is a time after their son looks to be about 6-years-old, and you can see the marriage isn't going very well. It features a scene with Gille's gay brother and his aloof younger boyfriend. You can see Marion beginning to break down at this point, and we do not seem very far away from what is to become in the opening sequence.

The birth of their son features Gilles being a butthole again, and deliberately not being present for the delivery. While it is not clear how strained the marriage is at this point, it features some poignant scenes with Marion alone in the hospital. At one point, she is in tears on her cell phone speaking to Gilles, who still hasn't come to see her, and asks him to bring some things from home. I think it's the most effective moment in the film.

That brings us to the last 2 moments, or the first 2 in their relationship. Up to this segment and right through to the end of the wedding ceremony, I felt this was playing out to be one superb film. Even in the darker tones of the first hour, I thought we were now getting into some juicy territory with the happier times in this couple's lives, and that this may play out to be one of the best French films I've seen in a long time. However, that all came crashing down with a preposterous turn of events on their wedding night. I won't give it away, but it features an offensively stereotypical, Marlboro smoking, American male character. Despite this rather cheap shot at portraying an American in a French film, it's not this character that disturbs me as much as how Tedeschi's character reacts in these scenes. There is nothing before or after this that would remotely lead anyone to believe that she would act this way. It is a very unfathomable scene, and literally crumbles the movie at this point.

On to the last scene, where the couple first begin an attraction. What we have is a boring sequence where Gilles is on vacation with his girlfriend and meets Marion, a brief work related aquaintance, and seems to fall for her. There are NO sparks in these scenes and we are left with what should have been the best part of the film, being the dullest.

There was a deleted scene called prologue, which featured a time just after they were married, and moving into a new home. I thought this was a great scene, and had it been included in the film, it would have been the brightest point, in this otherwise dreary relationship. Maybe Ozon didn't want to name it 6x2! I would have taken that sequence over the wedding night one or their first meeting.

A brilliant film for the first hour, but a let down in the last 25 minutes. This could have been a strong film, with a failed relationship told in reverse order. Even with the gloomy tone of this troubled marriage, some stronger writing in the last key segments could have made this one impressive piece of cinema.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scenes From A Marriage, December 14, 2005
By 
Alex Udvary (chicago, il United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
Love and relationships are a strange thing. Whatever our views on the subject may be I think we can all agree, we all go into a relationship expecting the best. But, what if, through some magical power, we could tell how a relationship would turn out just by looking at that person? This is what I was thinking about as I watched this movie.

The film tells the story of a couple that eventually falls out of love and gets a divorce, but the film's gimmick is it is all told backwards. It is not told "Memento" backwards, where each scene is followed by what happened earlier instead the movie is divided in five chapters which are told in reverse order; their divorce, a party scene, the birth of their child, their wedding and finally the first time they met. This is how the movie gets its title. Five chapters about two people, get it?

The movie is directed by Francois Ozon and I think it may be his best film. Here Ozon is dealing with characters and situations I can relate to. It is not the brainteaser "Swimming Pool" was or the fun silly lark "8 Woman" was either. Aesthecially and intelluctally this movie is better than the rest. If anything his "Under the Sand" may be of the same quality.

The couple is played by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Marion) and Stephane Freiss (Gilles) neither is an actor I can recall seeing in anything else but it doesn't matter. It helped me believe in these people even more. In the opening scenes we can sense a lot of intensity, a lot of disgust and resentment seems to be in the air. As we watch we wonder what could have lead to this? But as the movie goes on, I found, that these people never really belonged together in the first. Which leads me back to my original thought, what if we had a magical way of knowing how a relationship would end? Would we use it? Some would argue no, meeting someone new and experiencing where things go is half the excitment and also what makes us grow. That may be true but I wonder if Marion and Gilles would agree?

Bottom-line: Francois Ozon most effective film. It is a movie that is about more than its gimmick, it has a genuine deep story involving love and relationships.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet illusion, don't ever become reality!, June 5, 2007
This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
Francois Ozon shows us an original proposal around the intimacies of a couple who started so promisingly a magnificent relationship, but along the road they will meet one each other and the final result will lead them to an expected painful finale.

Valeria Tedeschi was intense and fabulous in this film, hovered by musical memories of old Italian songs that present us the story through a smart flash back, where the end of the movie was their genesis as couple.

On one hand, the final sequence with the fixed camera reminds us Antonioni, and the way Ozon edits reminds us to Erich Rohmer, but the script is extremely crude and powerful that supports and makes of this movie a must see.

If there`s authentic love the fidelity has no sense, because is included in the word.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ozon Delivers a Stylish Backward Narration of a Couple's Past..., July 9, 2005
By 
A Customer (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
The film opens with the audience witnessing the impersonal objectiveness of a lawyer guiding a couple through the final stage of a French divorce process. The divorce is to be finalized between Marion (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) and Gilles (Stéphane Freiss), the story's main characters. Neither Marion and Gilles show much emotion while they merely sit there responding to the lawyer's questions. They eventually sign the dotted line to settle the termination of the marriage. There are no tears, no feelings, no nothing, only the legal separation between two who once were deeply in love.

It is in the following scene where the audience will begin to feel perplexed, as both Marion and Gilles enter a very Spartan hotel room. Gilles asks whether he should close the blinds, but she says that it is not needed. He removes his shirt and then his undershirt while apparently getting ready for bed in the middle of the day. Marion returns to the room with a towel covering her body. She crawls into the opposite side of the bed where he is waiting naked underneath the blanket. It is bewildering to see these two in bed together right after they have signed the divorce papers.

She removes the towel and Gilles begin to gentel kiss and fondle her naked body. Then Marion's cell phone rings and she answers. She hangs up and they begin to make love when she suddenly says, "Stop." However, he desires her and knows probably from previous sexual encounters with her, as his wife, that she sometimes approaches the situation in such a manner. She continues to yell, "Stop! Stop! Stop!", and this time she really means it, but he pursues overpowering her with his full physical might. The scene radiates awkwardness, but also the sentiments of the final sexual encounter. The camera focuses in on her face. Nothing is said, but the emotions say more than a thousand words. The whole scene in the hotel room is a blur of different emotions racing by to the final sentiment where the audience maybe finds some understanding of why she got divorced from the sexual brute, Gilles.

The scene in the hotel room is the first out of five scenes between Marion and Gilles, as it backtracks into their past. Through this backward journey the audience gets to discover the mistakes and errors that have hurt them both including themselves. Maybe the audience can build an understanding of why it got to the point of the divorce, and what triggered them both to enter the hotel room in the beginning. Some of this backward story telling brings to mind the grotesquely brilliant Irreversible (2002) where the audience gets to experience the ending in the beginning through a gruesome crime. The difference between Irreversible and 5x2 is that François Ozon does not emphasize the big or traumatic incidents that lead up to the hotel scene, but on the small and subtle moments when silence, feelings and thoughts are exchanged and kept secret.

In some aspects, 5x2 is a truly wonderful and brilliant film, but the theme seems to have been reused in this film. Some might feel similarities between Ozon's film and Bergman's epic Scenes from a Marriage (1973) and maybe even Irreversible in its backward narration. Despite the similarities Ozon tells an authentic tale of a married couple's road to the final break up, which offers much for the audience to contemplate. It should also be mentioned, that Ozon's films seldom return to the same theme. Each and every time he succeeds in generating a new and interesting story, as he does with 5x2. However, he does not reach the cinematic heights of Under the Sand (2000) with 5x2, but does bring the audience on an intriguing tale of a couple's psychodynamic development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a unique romanic drama, October 1, 2010
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This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
I first came aware of this movie, 5x2, after seeing it on TV. I am puchasing a hard copy because I felt it was fairly intellegent, but entertaing take on marriage. While I generally do not like chick-flicks, this one is an exaption. Just one nitpick, I still don't know why in this day and age there is not a Spanish subtrack. As a learner of the laugue, that would come in handy for the Spanish speakers/learneres in this contry.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking Back, March 17, 2006
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This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
François Ozon (Swimming Pool, Under the Sand, 8 Women, Water Drops on Burning Rocks, etc) is a French director with a style of telling stories that is entirely his own. He seems to revel in challenging the audience to participate intellectually and emotionally in the common stories through which we daily walk. He doesn't strive for 'the big moment' or startling revelations: he is content to place a tale before us to encourage us to re-think our own existence, our parallel lives with those of his characters.

'Cinq fois deux' (5X2) is a study of a couple who meet, fall in love, marry, have a child, and divorce. But the story is told in reverse: we begin during a meeting with the lawyers who present to Marion (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) a successful business woman, and to Gilles (Stéphane Freiss) and equally successful businessman the papers outlining their divorce settlement. All seems calm, yet after the signing the couple appears in a hotel room for one last sexual encounter that speaks volumes about their finished relationship. From that scene we move into the life they shared as a married couple with one child, a family that seems perfect, yet during a dinner party with Gilles' gay brother Christophe (Antoine Chappey) and his lover Mathieu (Marc Ruchmann) we begin to see parallels of relationship fallacies. We step back further to the wedding of Marion and Gilles where Marion's parents likewise illustrate marriages with both the sour and semi-sweet sides and the cards are on the table. And on their wedding night Gilles falls asleep on their marital bed and the frustrated Marion falls into the arms of an American stranger (Jason Tavassoli). A step further back to the courting days reveals more dissident threads, and finally the couple's original meeting at a seaside resort where Gilles is retreating with his then girlfriend Valérie (Géraldine Pailhas) suggests patterns of behavior that, knowing the ending because it was the beginning of the film, bring the audience into the realm of understanding.

The cast is excellent, the lovemaking scenes are seductive and well filmed, and the transitions for the retrograde story are smooth and intriguing. The film allows us to examine three sets of relationships in detail and in doing so gives us insight as to just why trust is so important to success. Recommended. Grady Harp, March 06
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love and Marriage Told Reversed Way; Least Successful Ozon Film, October 4, 2005
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
[MINOR SPOILER CONTAINED]

The idea is simple: five scenes about a man and a woman, who fall in love with each other, get married, and eventually divorce. The point of prolific director François Ozon's "5x2" is, what if the same story is told in the reversed way?

So in the beginning of the film we see Marion Valeria (Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles (Stéphane Freiss) signing their divorce. This section relentlessly shows that they cannot love each other any longer when they try to make love in a small hotel room. The touch of this extended scene is very cold, as if watching a Bergman film as the previous reviewer points out, and the whole effects are not for everyone. At least, not for me.

Then the film goes back chronologically, showing another four scenes from the couple's life, and Ozon inserts several episodes that might or might not have something to do with the relations between this husband and wife.

[THE MORE WE SEE...] "5x2" is not a suspence, but like 'Under the Sand' or 'The Swimming Pool' there is a certain aspect of that in this film. The more we see the film, the more we understand Marion and Gilles. After knowing them, which means finishing watching the film, we start to ask ourselves -- Is their 'love' meant to end this way? What made them (or one of them) act like that? Ozon does not present easy answers, but there surely are some moments that suggest the clues.

The problem is, however, the film leans towards pessimistic side of marriage, or relations between men and women. I know, I'm talking about taste. I am talking about something impossible because I cannot possibly imagine a film with utterly optimistic outlook on life directed by Ozon, and the heroine of 'Under the Sand' undergoes a shocking experience, but this time, to me, everything is manipulated to create this poignant tone. But if you think all married couples end up with feeling poignant about whatever I don't know (because I never married), this film is for you.

And perhaps I am too unkind, but good as she is, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is no Charlotte Rampling who literally was in character in his two previous films, especially her ground-braking role in 'Under the Sand.' Ozon is always good at directing female players, and he has not lost his skills (why, he is only 38 years old), Marion is not a memorable character, never reaching the height of Marie played by Rampling.

You have to be patient, and also accept Ozon's view on marriage, which looks very bleak. The ending of the film(or 'the beginning' of their love) is, however, beautifully presented, and impressive too. But before you see that, it is possible that you come to dislike the tone of the film, and the fact that Ozon is only telling a twice told tale of love in order to show off his experimental methods.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all., February 28, 2006
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This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
I must admit it is refreshing how European (and true domestic Indies) tackles subject matters that Hollywood would not touch with a proverbial 10-foot pole. The personalities of both Marion and Gilles are established fairly quickly, but the reasoning behind their actions is usually explained at a later time. In fact, this shows how well written 5x2 is, because throughout all five episodes the characters of the protagonists don't change, their behavior has changed due to actions of the other part demonstrated with such expertise by Ozon here.

I found certain moments deeply moving such as the physical assault on his wife. It seemed like a desperate attempt by the husband to try and claim power over his wife. But we know that the relationship is in the final throes of death. I loved the scene on the wedding night when she looks at her mother and father who we have previously seen rowing, just dancing alone at the reception. Somehow you know that their relationship will last and there is hope for them. The adultery the wife commits seemed to work although at first I thought it too contrived. Her pleasure on seeing her husband and love for him as he sleeps when she creeps back into the room felt very real.

For me however the most beautiful and most moving sequence was the end when they first meet. It was wonderfully set up and echoed real life so well. It is always a series of events, a chain that causes all the pieces to fall in the right place and the couple to meet. It such a subtle scene when they talk on the beach as we know they are about to fall in love. When they walk into the golden sea bathed in light the two are literally becoming one as they embark on a new chapter in both their lives. The beauty of the scene is made more powerful by the conflicting emotion in our minds as we know that this love will be destroyed.

How can something so perfect ever diminish? What Ozon is saying is that all things must die, that surely it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I expect to see more solid films from Ozon in the future.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Unhappy Marriage, From Divorce to Wedding, August 26, 2011
This review is from: 5X2 (DVD)
In brief, what happens when you marry the wrong person.

You've had that Tammy Wynette D-I-V-O-R-C-E 45 looped in yer brain for ages now, but you're hesitant to act on it. You must. Staying in a bad marriage for the sake of your kid is no gift to your child. Trust.

Director Francois Ozon sets up his 2004 film like a mystery ("5X2" refers to five pivotal moments in the doomed relationship) but the late, great Ingmar Bergman looms large, like a ghost from a wishing well.

Petty, daily disputes are the standard code for failed love, as demonstrated when Gilles passive-aggressively tells Marion, "Rinse the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher." It's a good treatise, but Bergman's 1973 "Scenes from a Marriage" is a masterful work of art.

To quote Winston Churchill: "If you're going through hell, keep going."

So go burn that idiot windbreaker. The priest wore black on the seventh day. You are stronger than you think. Don't you forget it. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam...Learn it, then live it.
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5X2
5X2 by Francois Ozon (DVD - 2006)
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