5X2 review

After the campy delirium of 8 Women and the Hitchcockian intrigues of Swimming Pool, writer/director François Ozon tells the story of a modern French couple, told in five episodes shown in reverse chronological order. Though the film doesn't really add up to a coherent whole, it remains an acutely observed study of middle-class mores.

When we first meet Marion (Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles (Stéphane Freiss), they're signing divorce papers, only to then retire to a hotel for a post-separation hump. It's clear these two deserve each other and, as the narrative moves backwards in time, we realise theirs is a complex relationship built on deceit, infidelity and moral cowardice.

These aren't people you'll want to spend a great deal of time with, but the subtlety of the performances and the economy of Ozon's script and direction make for a well-crafted, occasionally compelling diversion.


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