The Woman in the Fifth (La femme du Veme)

First Hit:  Confusing and not quite engaging enough to recommend.

This is an odd little film because Tom (played by Ethan Hawke) appears to be perfectly fine as he finds the location of his daughter Chloe (played by Julie Papillon) who is living in Paris with her mom Nathalie (played by Delphine Chuillot).

We quickly learn that there is a restraining order for him to stay away from them both. The police are called and he leaves, gets robbed of all his belongings and finds himself begging for a place to sleep. He gets a job sitting all night letting people into a bunker like building.

As the film rolls along we note that something isn’t right. He meets an older woman Margit (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) who invites him to visit her twice a week at a precise time at her home in the 5th Arrondissement for wild sex.

There is also the romantic pull of a beautiful polish barmaid Ania (played by Joanna Kulig) in the sleazy building he is living in. She wants to have a relationship with him and eventually they connect. But people start dying, Margit doesn’t really exist and the line between reality and fantasy is blurred.

Unfortunately, the way this film unfolds there is really no guiding path on which the audience can relate. In the end, the film is confused and unsatisfying.

Hawke is at times intense, lost, and mediocre in this part. Papillon is cute as the daughter. Chuillot is beautiful and strong in her brief screen moments. Thomas is OK as the illusive seductress. Kulig was the best part of this film. Douglas Kennedy’s book was converted in an unfulfilling way by Pawel Pawlikowski who also directed this unfocussed film.

Overall: Started off well but got lost early and fizzled out altogether.