Critics Consensus

Five scenes from a marriage, deftly and poignantly presented.



Reviews Counted: 69

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,516


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

The rise and fall of one couple's marriage goes under the microscope in this drama from French filmmaker François Ozon. Gilles (Stephane Freis) and Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) have filed for divorce following several years of marriage, and after the judge declares their union is over, the film follows the couple through five lengthy flashbacks, presented in reverse chronological order, in which glimpses of their lives together are shown, ending with the couple meeting for the first time. As the film follows the peaks and valleys of Gilles and Marion's relationship, viewers witness a few of the many small events that make up a marriage.


Critic Reviews for 5x2

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (23)

  • A cool, sometimes chilly dissection of one couple's relationship.

    Aug 18, 2005 | Rating: B-
  • Gilles and Marion may be more than the sum of their regrets, but because their creator hasn't done the math, they remain touching stick figures.

    Jul 29, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Stripping away the extraneous details that etch great screen characters in our minds forever, Mr. Ozon pinpoints key moments in the life of a pair of married Parisians that leave the viewer paralyzed with boredom and confusion.

    Jul 28, 2005

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • Ozon, as he's shown in his many recent films (particularly Under the Sand), knows a thing or two about love and loss; 5x2 achingly demonstrates both.

    Jul 22, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Unwinds with absolute clarity and sure style, and Freiss and Bruni-Tedeschi make an interesting couple, if not a truly memorable one.

    Jul 7, 2005 | Rating: 3/4
  • Neither Marion, with her melancholy stares, nor Gilles, with his detachment and his cigarettes, appears more than a character sketch.

    Jul 7, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for 5x2


A difficult film made more so by these completely self-absorbed, unlikeable characters. When first we see Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles (Stephane Freiss), they are in a judge’s chambers as he reads the divorce decree that will terminate their short, mercurial marriage. In a series of scenes that march time backwards, we see the seeds of this breakup as they are sown, but not until the final scene, which is first in the sequence of events, do we realize how doomed this relationship was from the beginning. The methodology employed is certainly interesting and keeps one going, looking for the point at which hope was still alive, but the desolate answer is not the one we had wished for. The scenery, in some of the earlier (story-wise) locales, was quite lovely and the viewer is treated to some wonderful cinematography. The film certainly benefited from strong direction from Francois Ozon. But one ultimately wishes that these people were more sympathetic so that one could sense the tragedy more honestly. Not a lot of fun, and a whole lot of bad choices.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

Moving study of a relationship in reverse which highlights the inherent fragility of emotional bonds

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

Average French drama-little romance movie at the present backward to the past story of a couple - Marion and Gilles.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"5 X 2" starts out with Marion(Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and Gilles(Stephane Freiss) formalizing their divorce to each other. After the hearing, they retire to a hotel room for post-divorce sex, but when Marion has second thoughts, Gilles rapes her. Afterwards, they come to an understanding to the visitation rights of their son. Before she leaves, Gilles asks if they can still make a go of it...without saying anything, Marion exits and proceeds to the elevator.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Then, the movie flashes back two years to presumably happier times as Marion and Gilles are preparing to host a dinner party. Three more segments follow, each two years previously in the past and each at a pivotal point in their relationship.(On the surface, "5 X 2", has a similar structure to "Betrayal"(1983) but the previous film only concerned itself with an affair and if memory serves me correctly, was quite dull.)[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Francois Ozon, "5 X 2" is a very intelligent and thought- provoking movie that posits marriage more as a legal construct than as anything romantic. Basically, it argues that it is okay to be alone.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]What I think is also very interesting about this movie is the role parents play in shaping the lives of their children. For example, Marion's parents are always arguing but stay together. Did this shape her attitudes towards relationships? Conversely, I am wondering if it is imporant that we never get a good look at Gilles' parents and that this might be symbolic of a very distant relationship.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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