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5×2

Year: 2004
Production Co: Canal+
Director: Francois Ozon
Writer: Francois Ozon
Cast: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Stephane Friess
There was a curious trend to tell films backwards after Memento, and I imagine it works better sometimes than others. 5x2 is one, and what could have been all gimmick actually works out well. It's a beautiful and quite heartbreaking film.

We meet Marion (Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles (Friess) when they meet at a lawyers office to finalise their divorce, watch their relationship regress through its milestones like the birth of their son and their wedding back to the time they first meet and fall in love.

The reverse order of the story telling actually works in favour of the film as far as telling us about the couple. If we'd seen Marion and Gilles on their wedding night - when he falls asleep and she wanders off to sleep with a stranger - we'd assume their marriage is doomed. If we knew Gilles couldn't bring himself to be present at the birth of his son's birth we'd wonder what was wrong with him and their marriage.

But we simply see two people getting divorced, and like we'd wandered into the lawyer's office ourselves, we'd only be able to imagine the reason behind their break-up.

It's made all the more sad when we see them meet on holidays at the end of the movie, instantly attracted to each other, a love blossoming we know will end in tears.

Maybe the reason I responded to it so much was because I found Bruni-Tedeschi breathtakingly sexy, particularly at the wedding and dinner party scenes. She's quite a chameleon, seeming like a bumbling, awkward young girl at the end (their beginning) but a self-aware, battle-weary grown woman by the time the marriage dies.

interesting that we consider her the victim and him the villain, but it's lovely and sad like life and love sometimes are.

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