Douglas Kennedy

review_the woman in the fifth

Books and films are two very different mediums capable of eliciting the same reactions of joy, disappointment and every emotion in between. Both are essential, but they each have at least one distinctly related advantage over the other. Books rely on descriptions to create their world, but it’s ultimately up to the reader to envision what that world and its inhabitants look like. On the flip side of that, movies allow storytellers to show viewers exactly what they want them to see while still leaving open the option of interpretation. Tom (Ethan Hawke) is an American writer/college lecturer who arrives in Paris anxious to see his wife and young daughter after an extended absence. It’s only when he arrives at their residence that we begin to suspect this may not be a traditionally happy reunion. His wife is clearly upset to find him on her doorstep, and after he politely barges in to see their daughter the woman phones the police to report that he’s breaking a restraining order issued due to past violent behavior. Tom runs from the police only to have his suitcase and wallet stolen while asleep on a bus. Devoid of baggage and identity he struggles to retain his family, security and sanity in the face of an uncertain menace that threatens to bring him past his breaking point. What exactly that menace is, and how far Tom will go to combat it aren’t always clear, but neither is much else in The Woman in the […]

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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