17 July 2012 | demma52-425-395674
A mesmerizing, haunting mystery thriller that requires a substantial 'suspension of disbelief' to truly appreciate it, because it leaves many loose ends and unanswered questions. But I was hooked right from the beginning all the way to its evocative, elusive, deeply mysterious denouement, which has left so many other viewers unsatisfied. The film is really a character study of the deterioration of a complex, sensitive man thrown into impossible situations, and Ethan Hawke turns in a performance of great subtly and visible anguish. As the New York Times reviewer said, "It doesn't have the kind of payoff that details who did what and why, which is a problem only if you demand tidy endings." Or as another reviewer at IMDb has recently posted, and I paraphrase, 'Do you want Mark Walberg and a trash talking teddy bear? Or do you want something that requires the viewer to engage both mind and soul?" The Woman in the Fifth is the latter, beautifully done.