“5 to 7” Is A Rare Lovable Gem Set In The World Of Infidelity

By Scott Kurland

Film: 5 to 7
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Berenice Marlohe, Olivia Thirlby, Glenn Close, Frank Langella, Lambert Wilson, and Eric Stoltz
Rated R
Director: Victor Levin

   There are many things I love about this job. Honestly there are too many to name. Yet, of all the festivals and screenings, I love when I find hidden gems. Over the course of five years I’ve sent you on journeys to search for magnificent works of cinema. Whether it was the quirky “Obvious Child”, the endearing “About Time,” or the nostalgic “What If....” I always implore you to see them in theaters, because they’re gems. They aren’t Oscar winners or masterpieces, but they are miraculous works that sneak past main stream box offices. This week’s film “5 to 7” opens today in Kendall Square, and it may be one of the best hidden secrets around.

   “5 To 7” is the story of Brian Bloom (Anton Yelchin), an aspiring novelist and magazine writer who has had more rejection letters from magazines than dates in the last year. However, Brian’s luck begins to change when a beautiful French woman named Arielle (Berenice Marlohe) catches his eye. What begins as a courtship takes an unexpected turn when Brian learns that Arielle is married, and her husband (Lambert Wilson) approves of their relationship. Why? Because they have an open marriage that allows them to have a “5 to 7” relationship. From the hours of 5pm to 7pm Brian and Arielle can go to the movies, out to dinner, or even be intimate. Brian’s career also begins to take off as well  because Arielle’s husband's mistress (Olivia Thirlby) happens to be a book editor.  Can Brian handle a “5 to 7” relationship as he begins to fall harder for Arielle?

   I don’t know why Anton Yelchin doesn’t get more leading roles, because he’s always wonderful. His quiet desperation and sensitive portrayals of characters reminds me of River Phoenix. They both always play a tortured loner with inner light, but they know how to have fun with a role as well. Yelchin starred in “Like Crazy” a few years ago, another film about strained love. For some reason Yelchin always finds his niche in these characters. The characters are always the same. They’re always likable, they mean well, but they wear their heart on their sleeve only to find understanding after they are hurt. Yelchin is the one actor who can get away with playing the same character, because unlike other actors, he makes them a little different. Brian is one of his best performances, and if Yelchin is allowed to continue down this path, I see great things for him.

   Every character. And performance in this film is perfect. Whether its Berenice Marlohe’s loving Arielle, Glenn Close as Brian’s supportive mother, or Olivia Thirlby’s ambitious editor Jane. However, out of all the supporting roles my favorite two performances come from Frank Langella and Lambert Wilson. These are two contradicting characters. Normally in films like this, it would be the father saying date the married woman and the husband saying stay away. This time Langella as the father is saying to leave Arielle, and Wilson as her husband is saying go for it. Both men have no business giving out relationship advice, considering Langella’s Sam has a wife who  is a drunk and Wilson’s Vallery is cheating on his wife. What makes these roles work is how delusional and wrong both men are, and for it they suffer in their efforts to help Brian.

   “5 to 7” is written and directed by Victor Levin, the man who wrote “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!” and “My Sassy Girl.” Both films are about relationships with a quirky girl, and surprisingly no matter how cliche they are I did like both films. This time Levin reverses the roles, and Brian is the quirky one in love with a level headed woman. Unlike his previous films, Levin has found a way to bring this film into a realistic world. This is a very believable film, and what I love about it is how they never give into romantic film tropes. Levin could have easily added a third love story between Brian and Jane, causing tension between both Arielle and Vallery. Yet, that doesn’t happen. In any other film that would be the films pay off, but Levin takes it to a real level. Levin has crafted a loving portrait of two people caught in a situation both aren’t ready to explore. 

   “5 to 7” is a wonderful film, full of clever characters, and an original story that doesn’t come around too often. “5 to 7” is not your typical love story, and at times it does fall into territory that we’ve seen covered before. However, the ending is one of the best resolution to a film I’ve seen in sometime. I was very taken by “5 to7”, whether it was the chemistry of Marlohe and Yelchin, or the surprise cameo from Eric Stoltz, I loved this film. Victor Levin’s “5 to 7” is one of the best hidden gems to come out in almost five year, and with Anton Yelchin’s heartbreakingly honest performance this is a must see. “5 to 7” is playing Kendall Square, and trust me it is worth the trip into Cambridge. This is definitely making the top ten hidden gems list of 2015. Go See it.

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