Thursday, 26 November 2015

5 To 7: Film Review

5 To 7: Film Review   

Cast: Anton Yelchin, Berenice Marlohe, Olivia Thirlby
Director: Victor Levin

There's plenty of wish-fulfillment in 5 To 7 for you to lose yourself in.

Anton Yelchin plays aspiring novelist Brian, a New York inhabitant whose writing career is stalled. All around him is inspiration - mainly as director Victor Levin shows us from written plaques scattered around the city.

But Brian finds his muse one day when he sees beautiful French lady Arielle (a sultry Marlohe) smoking outside and decides on a whim, to talk to her. The pair find a common ground and begin a relationship that's predicated on one thing - Brian can only see Arielle between the hours of 5 and 7pm...

Subverting some of the norms of the rom com genre and injecting them more with elements of drama and Woody Allen-esque two hander scenes, 5 To 7 is all about the glamour than the grit.

Yelchin's youthful outlook and his desperation to dive completely in stands in opposite to Marlohe's more European ways; and Levin's direction and the story certainly subvert your ideas of where the drama of this film could come from.

Traditionally a film like this would make great fist of the fact Arielle's married and build a drama around discovery but 5 To 7 is not your typical film. It's swathed in the contrasts between European and American views to love and relationships, but smart enough to use them as a prop rather than a crutch.

It's certainly exquisitely shot; the camera adores Marlohe and the more romantic elements of New York, with shots of people around the city and silhouetted sexy shadows as the pair consummate their desires to a brassy jazzy French beat.

Equally, Brian's parents (played to perfection by Glenn Close and Frank Langella) add a touch of humour and truth as the proceedings start to feel a little drawn out. Certainly, the dinner with all of them captures the frisson of tension and the keenness of learning as new relationships blossom and all parties meet.

But there's an occasional aloofness to both Brian and Arielle as well as the whole situation of the husband and the weirdness of the children simply accepting Brian as a boyfriend of their mother that some may find a little unusual. It's certainly a fact that being open-minded yields more pleasures from 5 To 7 but given there's little conflict between the duo, parts of the drama feels manufactured and as a result, a little more inconsequential.

5 to 7's lead duo ensure the film stays on the right side of the audience and while the film's sumptuously shot and precisely acted, its straying from traditional narrative alleyways help it along as well as hinder it.

Articulate and meticulously assembled, 5 To 7 is an indie that's full of love and its sentiments but in its final romantic / culture clash it curiously fails to hit the heart-strings in the way that you'd perhaps expect.


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