Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Sadly this movie didn't generate enough hype in 2019 but it is sure a great Thriller with an outstanding performance.m by Isabelle Hupert
I saw the film on a flight, was not familiar with the title and watched because of Binoche. It's a FRENCH film, and doesn't disappoint. Very surprised by the ending.
Very slow. A little frustrating to watch, but an interesting story
I went in knowing almost nothing about this film and came out really impressed. The plot is a little contrived but the strong performances overcame that. I loved the in-your-face cinematography. Nothing was hidden from inspection and the actors embraced the vulnerability. Every twitch was captured, Binoche and Garcia were outstanding. Definitely worth seeing.
Another Oscar-worthy turn by the sublime Juliette Binoche tells the story of Parisian Claire Millaud, 50-something literature academic and recently divorced mother of two. Gradually pared back through pithy therapy sessions between Claire and her increasingly perturbed psychiatrist Dr Bormans (Nicole Garcia in a subtle, layered performance), the film's many twists, turns and narrative arcs, told through the eyes of the perpetrator, give it an exhilarating, if at times truth-stretching, take on what is essentially a story about the perils of catfishing.
In the wake of losing her husband to a much younger woman, Claire rebounds with a much younger man Ludo (Guillaume Gouix), who abruptly ends their dalliance with a cruel remark: "Did you think you were going to introduce me to your sons? Come on, I'm young enough to be their brother!' Going into stalker mode, she invents a Facebook avatar to gain information about him through his Facebook friends. So Claire becomes Clara, a 24 year old blonde intern working in fashion (no eye rolls please), with photo and video credits courtesy of the social media profile of her wayward niece, Katia. Through Facebook Messenger, she lures Ludo's photographer best friend Alex (Francois Civil) into conversation, which quickly escalates into a full-blown cyber romance, replete with incessant messaging, missed calls and phone sex. Claire's passion for him reinvigorates her frayed emotions, but starts to intrude on her professional life as an academic and personal life as a mother of two teenage boys.
Safy Nebbou's sensuous direction focuses the camera firmly on Binoche's photogenic face, magnifying every nuance of her expressions - a flickering eyelid, a wry smile, a teary pupil - that are a pleasure to behold. Claire's academic teachings of literary figures like the Marquise de Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons reflects the unchanging insecurities that she, as a single woman in her 50s, feels in attempting to proclaim her sexuality in a world that has already discarded it. While it may seem incredulous that a woman as luminous as Claire would have trouble finding love as a 'cougar', it is this very fact that is judged and picked at by her friends and her psychiatrist - the harsh glare of society that seeks to put her in her place as a woman past her sexual used by date. When one of her male friends at a dinner party labels her as a cougar, a female friend retorts: 'so what is the male equivalent of a cougar? Oh right, it's called a man.' The revelation of the identity of Claire's ex-husband's younger lover during the latter stages of the film also makes us rethink the limits of propriety with regard to relationships between two consenting adults.
As with all online romances, things come to a head when Alex insists on meeting, and Claire realises with increasing desperation that her act is up. But just when you think things are going to end badly, the story goes on a completely different tangent, and an alternative ï¿ 1/2~Sliding Doors' scenario is brought to life through an idealised romance between them in a long second act. Alex's sudden presence on screen, putting a face to the voice of their earlier conversations, thrusts the beauty and naivety of his youth into the foreground; but a curious hyper-reality occurs when Alex discovers Claire's duplicity and a shocking accident ensues. The final denouement, though, involves the reappearance of Ludo and the involvement of the enigmatic Dr Bormans, who breaks doctor-patient confidentiality and calls into question her own ethics in the whole sordid affair.
Worthy of special mention is Ibrahim Maaloud's evocative music score, which tenderly enhances Claire's internal conflict between her real and virtual worlds and backdrops the film's second and third acts with an impending sense of doom.
In today's youth-obsessed world of social media where live feeds on Facebook and stories on "Insta" (a word which Claire has to Google) reign supreme, it is refreshing to see a film where a mature, layered woman, unsure of her place in this online space and society at large, takes centre stage. When Clara asks Alex why he likes her, he replies wryly that he finds her ï¿ 1/2~intriguante' - and indeed, it is the older Claire, brought to life vividly by Binoche, who is all the more intriguing.