Box art for The Woman In The Fifth

The Woman In The Fifth

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


THE WOMAN IN THE FIFTH follows American novelist Tom Ricks as he arrives in Paris determined to renew a relationship with his estranged wife and daughter.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    63%
  • Audience Score
    22%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It's a curio, ripe with dreamy atmospherics and intriguing mysteries, but little else.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, June 15, 2012

Fresh: The movie casts such a seductive air of mystery that the resolution feels anticlimactic, yet there's plenty to enjoy along the way, particularly Hawke's nuanced lead performance as a quiet man with secrets of his own.

- Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fresh: Those who prefer tidy, "Murder, She Wrote" closure are advised to shop elsewhere.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, June 28, 2012

Audience Reviews

0 star

Pawel Pawlikowski's The Woman in the Fifth is ridicilous imitation of nightmarish paranoia thrillers of Roman Polanski. First of all Pawlikowski does not have even remote amounts of same skill as a director which Polanski has and while ambitious with it's plot, this film ends up being nothing but a frustrating mess without single bit of logic in it. Ethan Hawke plays American writer Tom Ricks who is trying to make an connection with his daughter, but what begins as a rather ordinary kind of drama very soon spirals out of control and goes into a completely and utterly stupid direction. Director/writer Pawlikowski clearly thinks that he has invented something truly original with his story, but quite honestly he has created a one of the most confusing and logic defying screenplays in many moons and not in a good way. This is a film about nothing, nobody and travel to nowhere. There is no beginning and there is no ending. There is just this stupid and cheap entertainment which is aiming to be something much more psychological, artsy and complex than it actually is. Those who are looking for good mystery thriller won't find it here. This is just complete waste of time.

- emilkakko, Monday, September 3, 2012

3 stars

First "Elles," and now "The Woman in the Fifth." Two films made in Paris by Polish-born filmmakers in one year. And Joanna Kulig appears in both of them! Quite a coincidence. The good news is that Poland is finally appearing on cinema's world stage. More good news is that these two films are good and operate at quite a high artistic level. They're not great, but they are artistically ambitious. They aim high. In a year that is so far one of the worst in cinema history, this is a relief to see. When every other filmmaker is aiming low, it's especially satisfying to see two filmmakers aiming high. Thank you, Poland, for resisting 2012's trend of brainlessness and artlessness. "The Woman in the Fifth" is a portrait of madness. An American novelist (played by Ethan Hawke) arrives in Paris, struggling to make contact with his estranged wife and young daughter. It's never specified what happened, but the wife has a restraining order against the husband. She calls the police as soon as he shows up. The bulk of the film concerns his attempt to find an apartment in Paris, earn some money, and try to get visitation rights to see his daughter. He also meets a woman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and begins a passionate relationship with her. Then weird things start happening. His daughter is abducted and left in a public park. When she is found, Hawke is the prime suspect. Is he being framed, or did he do it? Does he have a Jekyll and Hyde type of split personality? Other eerie things happen as well, especially a whopper concerning Ms. Thomas's character. It's an intriguing, upsetting exploration of what it must feel like to lose one's mind. But ultimately it's not that satisfying. I didn't care about the characters as much as I would want to. At times the film feels like an intellectual exercise, but there are many moments of real feeling as well. It's not a masterpiece, but "The Woman in the Fifth" is a true work of art and has moments that are fantastic. It's one of the best films of the year so far.

- dunmyer, Friday, June 22, 2012

3 stars

"The Woman in the Fifth" starts with Tom Ricks(Ethan Hawke), a university professor and one-time author, traveling to Paris to visit his six-year old daughter Chloe(Julie Papillon). Except his very estranged wife Nathalie(Delphine Chuillot) wants nothing to do with him, citing an exclusion order to call the police on him. Luckily, he escapes cleanly but is later thoroughly robbed on a bus, except for his passport and a stuffed giraffe intended for his daughter. Instead of going to the American embassy, Tom ends up at a flophouse where he cuts a deal with its manager, Sezer(Samir Guesmi), to keep watch from 10 pm to 4 am every night for 50 euros a night. This also gives Tom enough time to stalk his daughter, write and visit Margit(Kristin Scott Thomas), an interpreter. As a psychological drama, "The Woman in the Fifth" is decent enough by hinting more often than not. And it takes a chance by having a lead character rarely off screen who is unstable. This is in a Paris, absent of its usual landmarks in favor of graffiti, that consumes people whole from other countries, like Ania(Joanna Kulig), from Poland. Otherwise, there is not that much of a story, as the movie has a way of going around in circles before a plot twist that is so off the wall, considering the circumstances, that is past doozy into WTF territory. At the same time, it does sort of eventually fit in with rest of the movie's themes.

- gator681, Sunday, June 24, 2012