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5 x 2


5 x 2 (Francois Ozon)

You may be familiar with French director Francious Ozon for his last film “Swimming Pool,” released in 2003. He is a man who has a gift for picking the right actors to play the characters in his mind, to assemble personalities that bring those characters to life instead of going with big names that have impressive resumes.

In “5 x 2” he goes the route of what seems to be a new angle on story development, starting with the end and reeling backwards in time to when the actual story first began. It is an interesting method, and even more so in this film since Ozon is one who makes movies that cause you to ponder hours or days after the credits roll.

The married couple — Marion played by Bruni-Tedeschi and Gilles played by Stephane Freiss — are in the official process of finalizing their divorce in the opening scene. Their characters reflect the state of their relationship on their face, which is drawn, exhausted, lifeless and almost gray. As their story turns backwards, you see them looking fresher and with almost a glow in the last scene when they begin their new but fateful journey together.

Taking a look into the aspect of the human condition, and relationships in particular, “5 x 2” goes through the five major times in this couple’s life, from her romp with a complete stranger on their wedding night, his abandonment of her during the birth of their child, and their first encounter while they were both vacationing in Italy…when he was there with his girlfriend of four years.

Both actors were excellent at showing the deep affection, attraction and actual love this couple had for each other. While neither were saints or martyrs, Gilles’ character portrayed many of the cliché weaknesses of the male species, which he then takes to an extent many men would refrain from.

This was a very unique and welcomed aspect of the birth and death of a relationship, mainly because it truthfully presented who these people were from the beginning to the end. In reflecting on the beginning scene, it then comes as no surprise that they eventually go their separate ways.


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