5 to 7

Tribeca Film Festival

Some movies do not seem possible. Their very existence is an absurdity of hubris, their production something of a financial miracle. Or, rather, a financial eccentricity. The largest projects are the ones with the most to prove, disastrous flops like the Korean War epic Inchon financed by the Unification Church or that time Richard Burton played Yugoslav president-for-life Josip Broz Tito. Yet there’s a smaller version of this bizarre passion project, fantasies designed not to stroke the egos of cult leaders or dictators but Hollywood moguls. This time around we are in the hands of writer/director Victor Levin, Emmy-award winning co-executive producer of Mad Men and screenwriter of Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! The film is 5 to 7, a romance of almost unfathomably terrible proportions. The hero is Brian (Anton Yelchin), a young man without any sense of his own enormous privilege. Sure, he’s currently a failed writer. He’s also 24 years old, the son of very wealthy New Yorkers who presumably pay for his Manhattan apartment and, as we learn later on in passing, have already put away enough money for law school just in case. He sits at home all day re-writing his short stories and pasting rejection letters from literary magazines to his wall. The film gives him the luxury of near-constant voice over as the story begins, the first sign that Levin is entirely complicit in the narrative excesses that follow. Brian is the most inherently irritating protagonist of the year, but neither he nor his creator has any inkling thereof.

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Diane Kruger and Anton Yelchin

Ever since Diane Kruger stole everyone’s hearts in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds back in 2009, she’s just been doing far too many French films and not nearly enough English language work. It’s time they lent her back. They’ve been bogarting her. And Anton Yelchin, well he’s been spending far too much of his time starring in rehashes of properties from decades ago and providing voices for children’s movies. It’s high time he makes us all tear up in another relationship drama, like he did with Like Crazy. It’s good news for everyone, then, that THR is reporting the duo will soon be teaming up for a project called 5 to 7, which is both an indie romance as well as a movie that was written and will be directed by a guy who speaks English. The good news doesn’t stop there though, because that English-speaking guy isn’t just some jerk off the street. No, 5 to 7 is the latest work of Victor Levin, a creative type so talented that he’s been spending the last couple years serving as a writer and producer on TV’s Mad Men (you know, the Mad Men that was already the best show on television, but then just topped itself with its stellar season 5). Sure, he also wrote a romantic comedy called Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! back in 2004 that I don’t think anybody remembers much or liked all that well, but let’s focus on the positive: Mad Men!

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