Review: 5 to 7

5 to 7 (2015)

dir. Victor Levin

starring: Anton Yelchin, Berenice Marlohe

A story about a young writer falling in love with an older, married woman. 5 to 7 is a charming culture-clash romance that nimbly balances comedy and drama.

Writer/director Victor Levin’s debut begins with a montage of the bench plaques in Central Park.  The little loving messages from couples and individuals is reminiscent of Pont des Arts (the love lock bridge in Paris).  It sets the light and sweet tone of the film.  From Manhattan’s upper west side setting to the Jules et Jim references, 5 to 7 has a breezy and nostalgic air.

When Brian (Anton Yelchin), a struggling writer, meets the glamorous Arielle (Berenice Marlohe), he reluctantly begins an affair that can only take place between the hours of 5p.m. to 7p.m.  She assures him that it’s a normal type of relationship in France.  She even invites him to meet her husband (Lambert Wilson), who is in his own 5 to 7 affair with the sprightly Olivia Thirlby.  It is an odd setup that generates very funny moments, especially with the children.  They are so happy Brian is mom’s boyfriend.  Berenice Marlohe and Anton Yelchin have a warm chemistry that doesn’t cheapen the relationship.  Despite the circumstances, the characters genuinely care for each other.

The downside of the film’s old-fashioned charm is that it becomes too sentimental.  The parents, played by Glenn Close and Frank Langella, are affectionately, stereotypically, Jewish parents.  All the players speak earnestly and truthfully.  It’s a bit unrealistic, especially as the relationship reaches it’s inevitable conclusion.  The aftermath of the relationship is somehow treated too lightly and too earnestly.  However, 5 to 7 leaves a warm lasting impression.

watch the film’s trailer here.

Recommend: Yes. It’s an unconventional romance with an old-fashioned heart.

In Theaters (US):  3 April, 2015

Review: Forever Into Space

Forever Into Space (2015)fis_card

dir. Greg W. Locke

starring: Kelly Sebastian, Tyler Evan Rowe, Oliver Fetter, Julianna Pitt, Jaz Valentino

A film that’s more about a feeling. Shot in crisp black and white, Forever Into Space is a glimpse into the lives of over-educated and underemployed twenty-somethings in New York City.  It centers on Audrey Harrington (Kelly Sebastian) a writer/blogger trying to earn a living off her writing, and her struggling friends.  The film pays homage to other New York-set films and subtly answers the criticisms lobbed at millennials.  With a budget of less than $1000, Forever Into Space is no budget film-making at its best.

The first comparison that comes to mind is ClerksForever Into Space shines in the small moments, where the characters are just hanging out, occasionally waxing philosophically. There is an homage to the bridge scene in Manhattan that puts the focus on the speakers rather than the object of their conversation. Maybe that’s a generational difference?  Unlike Clerks, here there is an underlying tone of hunger and disappointment.  It takes place in 2013 and economic uncertainty permeates the film. These are people who did what they were supposed to, like go to college, move out, get a real job; but they are constantly told that they are entitled brats who expect everything for nothing.  That disconnect is the films’ slogan, “the have-to-do-it-yourself generation.” It can be a bit slow, but its authenticity and immediacy make it worth a watch.

www.foreverintospace.com

www.cinequest.org