La femme du V??me – The Woman in the Fifth

This is actually quite a short film (coming in at 84 minutes) but it managed to fit a lot in without feeling rushed.

I liked that Ethan Hawke was allowed to be an American who had sufficient command of French to conduct conversations in the language where necessary.  I wasn’t so keen on his over-sized “I’m a university lecturer” spectacles, which endowed him with a somewhat Clark Kent air.

Kristen Scott Thomas was doing was she does best –  being thin, enigmatic and potentially dangerous.

And it’s certainly a depiction of Paris that you seldom see in the glossy blockbusters.

Sometimes this feels like a thriller, sometimes like the story of a man trying to come to terms with huge changes in his life. It’s confusing, but in a good way; we pick our way through the film as Ethan tries to pick his way through what seems to be happening to him.

Special mention to some beautiful photography, with brilliant use of out-of-focus shots to bring a really eerie atmosphere to some scenes, and add to the air of mystery.

But to say more would be to reveal spoilers!

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