I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy a movie about infidelity. As a happily married woman it’s a topic I prefer to avoid, having watched its’ effect on the marriages of friends and acquaintances. However, IFC Films’ forthcoming feature 5 TO 7 handles the issue of infidelity with dignity, balance and quite a lot of humour as well.
Set in New York City, 5 TO 7 tells the story of an aspiring young novelist’s extramarital affair with a French diplomat’s wife. An emotionally powerful debut from writer and director Victor Levin (Mad Men, Mad About You), 5 TO 7 stars Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy) and Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall) alongside Glenn Close, Frank Langella, Lambert Wilson and Olivia Thirlby.
The protagonist, Brian Bloom (Yelchin), is an aspiring novelist whose apartment is literally papered with rejection letters. The movie begins the day he chances upon Arielle (Bérénice Marlohe), the wife of a French diplomat, smoking on the sidewalk outside a New York restaurant. There is an immediate mutual attraction despite the differences in the characters’ ages and circumstances.
Early on, Brian is shocked to learn that his relationship with Arielle will be “cinq à sept” or 5 TO 7. “Cinq à sept” is a French colloquialism referring to extramarital affairs that take place between the hours of 5 and 7, the time between when a person might leave their office en route home, when their whereabouts and actions might not come into question. Or in Arielle’s case, a time before supper, when the children are with their nanny and her husband is also otherwise engaged.
Watching the development of Arielle and Brian’s relationship – and the surprising twists when Arielle’s husband becomes aware of the affair – was both moving and entertaining.
Glenn Close and Frank Langella portray Bloom’s concerned parents, completely out of their depth on meeting Arielle, especially when she announces with no hesitation whatsoever that she is married with two children. There are some wonderfully comic moments as they struggle to come to terms with their son’s unorthodox relationship.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed 5 TO 7. Beautifully shot, the cinematography reminds me of some of the classic French films I have watched in the past. As a writer and a reader, I loved the beautifully crafted script – there are so many quotes that will stay with me forever. The characters are well developed and virtually all of them are easy to empathise with, making it difficult to decide how you hope the movie will end.
5 TO 7 is in no way predictable and even when I thought I had everything all figured out, there was a still a plot twist – or two – to come. I also liked that the movie was entirely lacking in gratuitous sex or violence – although the topic of infidelity is a controversial one, the story is engaging and easy to watch. 5 TO 7 underscores how completely love can change our lives and our characters as well as how incredibly strong true love really is.
Even now, a few weeks after I watched the screening of 5 TO 7, I still find myself thinking of the movie and the language and characters from it. It was truly inspiring in spite of my reservations about the subject matter. Don’t miss 5 TO 7 due to be released in theatres and On Demand in the US on April 3, 2015. You can watch the trailer here.
All stills are courtesy of IFC Films.
I was invited to watch a pre-release screening of 5 TO 7 and have voluntarily provided a review. The opinions in this post are my own.
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