Five Times Two

2004 [FRENCH]

Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Michael Lonsdale Photo
Michael Lonsdale as Bernard
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834.07 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.51 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by meitschi10 / 10

Beautiful, thoughtful and excellent

As another reviewer before me, I also can't believe how badly people are writing about this film here. I adore Francois Ozon and I've seen all his feature-length films. This one seems quite different from the others (except, maybe, Sous le sable) and it's as low-key as Ozon could ever get, but it is still an excellently scripted and played film that makes one think.

I didn't consider the backwards structure to be gimmicky at all, it rather helped the viewer to better make out flaws early in the relationship. There is betrayal in each one of the episodes, starting with the last (chronologically the first) one. The film shows us that even little egoisms and uncharitable behavior can lead to grave consequences - in this case, to divorce. The woman, Marion, seems to be easily led anywhere, not having enough standing of her own, while the man, Gilles, seems to be egoistic, cowardly and sometimes just simply sex-crazed.

I think the structure rather helps us to understand the characters better, since we have already seen the consequences of their actions and attitudes. I didn't consider the large gaps between (and also in) the episodes to be a problem - they only acknowledge that the whole story can never be told because it is made up by every single moment between their first meeting and the last time they see each other. These episodes can only indicate what went wrong, they cannot explain - that would be too simplistic.

The actors were excellent, especially Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. The way the looks of the main characters changed during the film (becoming more and more youthful and fresh as the story goes backwards),was also excellently done.

The parallel love stories (between Gilles's brother and his young lover, and between Marion's parents) shed some more light on the relationship between Marion and Gilles - also on what might have gone wrong.

This film should probably be required viewing for every couple wanting to get married... :-) Not in order to deter them, but rather to make them aware of the pitfalls of relationships and married life.

Reviewed by ellkew10 / 10

Deceptively simple, deceptively powerful

This is one of the most resonant films I have seen for a long time. Superb performances by both leads and a simple but very effective structure. To begin at the end and move backwards to look at moments, glimpses, fragments is such a simple device yet devastatingly effective as 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. Go and see this film. It is marvellous.

Reviewed by debblyst8 / 10

Ozon's vivisection of marriage is both for cynics and romantics

OK, so the reverse story-telling is a gimmick, and not even a new one, though it undeniably heightens the complexity and surprises of Gilles+Marion's "love story". But in 5x2 -- a vivisection of modern marriage -- Ozon's fans won't be let down. His trademarks are there: the fascination/disgust with romantic love, marriage and family life (q.v. his entire filmography!); the unconventional sex scenes; his talent for creating wonderful female characters; his gift with actors (everybody's fine in 5x2, but Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is a knock-out); and his ability to skilfully integrate image, dialog, music, drama and humor.

5x2 is about the (im)possibility of love, marriage and family life in the 2000s. All couples are troubled: the protagonists Gilles and Marion; Gilles and former girlfriend Valérie; Marion's parents (who at the end/ start of the film, no longer speak to each other); and the gay couple (Gilles' elder brother and his very young lover),who are loving and tender but lead mostly independent lives and don't have sex (with each other, that is). In 5x2, love and sex are sharply distinct: Marion & Gilles are constantly avoiding sex, and the only time Ozon actually shows them at it is in the desperate post-divorce "rape" scene. In another scene, Gilles talks about the night he "proved" his love for Marion when he indulged in a bi-sexual orgy at her request (she watched but didn't join in). Gilles' ex-girlfriend Valérie is only turned on by the thought of Gilles cheating on her. We are told that the "happy" gay couple have a platonic relationship. And the only time we hear "je t'aime" in the film is from Marion to a totally drunk Gilles -- who's asleep and can't hear her -- right after cheating on him on their wedding night with a total stranger.

Ozon includes long scenes of divorce and marriage rituals. He wants us to pay particular attention to contrast between the misleading simplicity of a marriage bond and the labyrinthine complexity of a divorce contract-- as if saying that something must be wrong with an institution that evolves from the brevity of a "fidelity, support and care" vow at the wedding ceremony to the intricate, endless clauses involving division of properties, alimony, insurance, children's custody, visiting rights, etc at the divorce procedure (not to mention the need for lawyers!).

Whether you'll like (or dislike, or remain indifferent to) 5x2 will probably depend on your own love-life experience and your (dis)belief in romantic love, marriage and family life. This is crucial in your interpretation of the last (first) scene at the Italian resort: if you're an optimist/romantic, you'll be sensitive to the eternal magic of falling in love, no matter if it may eventually bring suffering; if you're cynical/sarcastic, you'll perhaps giggle at the postcard scene of two people falling in love out of boredom and loneliness spiced up by a beautiful scenery, only to be inevitably crushed by the bleak reality of marriage and family life -- please notice that the last time we see Marion and Gilles happy is at their wedding party.

The soundtrack includes great Italian love songs from the 1960s ("Ho Capito che ti Amo", "Una Lacrima sul Viso", "Mi Sono Innamorato di Te" etc): these are some of the most shamelessly romantic lyrics ever written, spelling out for Marion and Gilles the feelings they don't know how to articulate to each other (or to themselves). 5x2 ends with Paolo Conte's "Sparring Partner", and we can see Ozon slyly winking at the audience: he's closing a movie about the difficulties of marriage with a song that compares married people to, well, "sparring partners".

Though there are undeniable similarities to Staley Donen's "Two for the Road", 5x2 looks to me as a turbinated, updated Rohmerian "Moral Tale": Ozon creates a similarly masterful mix of drama and irony, using similarly arbitrary twists of love and fate on similarly self-absorbed characters, recalling Rohmer's classic lesson on how vacation and lovely landscapes can push romantic buttons in all of us (think of "Le Genou de Claire", "Pauline à la Plage", "Le Rayon Vert", the 4 seasons Tales, etc). We can thank our favorite Gallic saints that, given Ozon's talent for drama, he's such a playful, cool, witty guy, who welcomes both romantics and cynics in his scripts as well as in his audience.

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