3 January 2013 | claudio_carvalho
Forget any Explanation and Simply Enjoy (or not)
The American professor of literature and novelist Tom Hicks (Ethan Hawke) travels to Paris to see his beloved daughter Chloé (Julie Papillon) that lives with her mother Nathalie (Delphine Chuillot). However, Nathalie uses the restraining order to call the police and avoid letting Tom to meet Chloé.
Tom flees from the police and takes a bus but he is tired and sleeps. When he awakes in a poor neighborhood, he finds that his luggage and money were robbed. He goes to a bar and the Polish waitress Ania (Joanna Kulig) brings a coffee for him. He asks for a room and explains that he had been robbed and she asks him to talk with the owner Sezer (Samir Guesmi) that allows him to stay in a very low budget room and pay him later. Then Sezer offers a job of night watchman in a suspect building.
One day, Tom goes to a bookstore and is invited to a party with writers where he meets Margit Kadar (Kristin Scott Thomas), who is a translator and widow of a Hungarian writer. She gives her address and telephone to Tom. Soon Tom has a love affair with Margit at her apartment and with Ania on the roof of the bar. But Tom is also obsessed by his daughter, snooping around Chloé during the days. When his next door neighbor at the hotel that is blackmailing Tom is found dead, his only alibi is Margit. But when the police officers go to her place, they discover that she had committed suicide many years ago.
"La femme du Vème" is one of those movies like "Triangle" where there is no explanation for bizarre and surrealistic situations. I am not sure whether the director Pawel Pawlikowski had this intention or not, but forget any explanation about the plot and simply enjoy (or not) the movie.
David Lynch is the master of this style while Claude Chabrol was the French master of thrillers with open endings to make the viewer think and discuss possibilities. But this is the practically unknown Pawel Pawlikowski and I was disappointed with the lack of conclusion of the good plot. But as an unconditional fan of Kristin Scott Thomas and Ethan Hawke, I do not regret this strange experience. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Estranha Obsessão" ("Weird Obsession")