Cinque Fois Deux is yet another reverse reveal which, rather like Irréversible kicks off with some uncomfortably cruel carnality and then shows us episodes from the time of simmer before the pot finally boiled over. But François Ozon's intriguing film distinguishes itself from both Irréversible and Memento in that there are serious gaps between the segments we are led back through - a ploy no doubt designed to provide the audience's imagination with quite a serious work-out.
Backwards narratives typically feature a twist that, appropriately enough, reverses your expectations of the characters based on their end-point attitudes and activities. In 5x2 this twist is quite gentle, and perhaps depends on a subjective reading of events. Suffice to say, Gilles isn't quite the vicious brute he appears just after the divorce has been signed. Marion however, is enigmatic and ambivalent at each stage of the relationship. Both spend a lot of screen time silently lost in thought, further encouraging us to fret about the key plot watersheds that we are not witness to.
I enjoyed Ozon's Swimming Pool more than many. There he let his lens linger on Ludivine Sagnier's chest for longer than was strictly necessary. Here however, the director has chosen a pair of leads whose screen personae are more grottily antipathetic the closer and longer we approach them.