American writer Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke) arrives in Paris to be closer to his young daughter who is living with his estranged ex-wife. Completely broke, he accepts a job as a night guard for a local crime boss. Stationed in a basement office, his only task is to push a button when a bell rings. The tranquility of the night, he hopes, will help him focus on his new novel. His days become more exciting when he starts a romance with Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas), a mysterious and elegant widow who sets strange rules to their meetings: she will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement, at 5 pm sharp, twice a week and he should ask no questions about her work or her past life. When people suddenly start dying around Tom, he begins to believe that a dark force has entered his life, punishing anyone who has recently done him wrong. After the police accuse him of murdering his neighbor, Tom tries to use his weekly visits to Margit's apartment as an alibi, only to find out that she hasn't lived at this address for the past 15 years.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Although Mr. Pawlikowski often shows Mr. Hawke in medium and long shots, the actor draws you close.Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 06.14.2012
[Pawlikowski] creates a nice sense of paranoia and multicultural bewilderment that's the welcome tonal opposite of Woody Allen's romanticized Midnight in Paris fripperies.Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 06.13.2012
This pensive, seductive drama is full of devious strategies, which begin with its protagonist's name: T. Ricks. Tricks.Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine, 06.14.2012
A thankless lead vehicle for Ethan Hawke who's left largely stranded by writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski's opaque adaptation of Douglas Kennedy's novel.Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 06.21.2012