When I spoke with Victor Levin by phone on April 3, 2015, I was surprised to learn that one of the thing that I appreciated most about his feature film directorial debut, the practicality of the women of the piece about extra-marital affairs in contrast to the shock evidenced by the men, was not something he intended. Instead, his interest was in finding a new sort of obstacle to throw in the path of true love, the which he found in the tradition cinq a sept, the hours of 5pm to 7pm during which maried couples spend time apart and with their lovers.
We went on to discuss how Anton Yelchin, who stars as the fledgling writer caught in the spell of Arielle, the mysterious, and married, Frenchwoman, so perfectly embodies innocence, the indebtedness of a director to his Director of Photography, and the reaction of audiences to seeing Julian Bond in a dinner party scene. We also talked about why right and wrong are not terms that should not be applied when considering the cultural differences between America and France, and how a slew of rejection notices affected Levin’s reaction to getting his first acceptance letter.
5 TO 7 is a love story about rules, ethics, and a novel definition of old-fashioned. Anton Yelchin stars as Brian Bloom, a fledgling writer in New York City dealing with the frustration of rejection letters and of the well-meaning nudging of his parents to go to law school. A chance encounter on the street with a beautiful and mysterious French woman leads him into a life-altering affair in which he learns that love and marriage are not necessarily the same thing as his Jewish-American sexual angst meets French practicality in the traditional cinq a sept, or 5 to 7 of the title, the time French married couples spend apart from each other and with their lovers. The film co-stars Berenice Marlohe, Olivia Thirlby, Lambert Wilson, Glenn Close, Frank Langella, and Eric Stoltz. Levin directed from his own script and this his feature film directorial debut. His previous work includes producing television’s MAD MEN, MAD ABOUT YOU, and DREAM ON.