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5x2
Credit: 5X2: Jean-Claude Moireau

5x2

B-

I’ll leave it to greater metaphysicians than I to divine why backward storytelling has come into vogue, but its appeal is no mystery: To unfold a relationship in reverse chronology is to mirror how our memory works. François Ozon’s 5X2 opens with an attractive 40ish couple (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Stéphane Freiss) signing divorce papers, then heading off to a hotel room for a goodbye shag that turns ugly. The film then proceeds to move, in reverse order, through four more episodes: dinner party, childbirth, wedding night, first spark of love. Ozon stages each scene so assuredly, with such a fluid sense of motive and desire, that I assumed we’d witness how even the best of intentions, from each party, could strand a marriage on the rocks. But no. The story 5X2 tells is this: The wife is vibrant, the husband a shifty cold fish. Feminist sanctimony, it turns out, looks much the same forward and backward.

5x2
type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
runtime
  • 90 minutes
director

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