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Faber's life is bland. He lives in the flat where he was born, never having moved or really traveled. He inherited his father's business and many of the old clients. Used to an orderly existence, he lives alone and usually takes dinner by himself, with a glass of wine, while listening to music. Occasionally, through the window, he catches glimpses of couples, other lives. Jeanne, his last and perhaps only love, (Anne Brochet of the wonderful smile), left him for another man but they get together occasionally and maintain a close friendship. He is decidedly intrigued by Anna's visit but does not expect a repeat performance.
He is fascinated after visit number 2, when he finally manages to blurt out, "I'm not a doctor." Anna responds quickly, that she knows many therapists are not doctors and that's fine by her. Again, she leaves quickly. William is the one to visit Dr. Monnier, the shrink, (Michel Duchaussoy), who tells him that this situation is about his own problems and not Anna's.Read more ›
Man and woman are brought face to face by a farcical error. On her first visit to her psychiatrist, Anna's distracted thoughts take her unwittingly to the office of a tax consultant. The general discrete atmosphere seems fitting enough, and she reveals to William, uncensored, the intimate details of her married life. Shy, hurt and lonely from his previous relationship-failure he is glad for the company of this beautiful and appealing woman. He plays along with her mistake long enough to evidence to us his interest and all-too-human need hovering behind his life of professional competency. This creates the basis for a relationship that will sustain its verbal tango long after we expect its consummation.
What is the fascination here? Well, if our hormones aren't pounding too loudly, we may have asked ourselves what indeed we are seeking in relationship besides the immediate gratifications of sex and romantic infatuation. How can there be enough distance in a relationship of attraction to leave room for a sustained dialogue of depth? (And if dialogue is all we're after, what is the place of attraction in all of this?)
How do men surrender their positions of authority (whether psychiatrist or tax advisor) to reveal themselves? What does it mean when a woman lies down for a man? Is she (whether in the role of lover or patient) passively receiving, or, is it really the way women give care, creating a comforting space for their rigid men to feel relaxed enough to unburden themselves?Read more ›
Director Patrice Leconte has plowed this territory before especially in his "Man on the Train" and the ruse succeeds for as long as it needs to as William comes clean to Anna early on in the film. Nonetheless, Anna continues to spill her guts to William and a sort of friendship develops between the two.
Most of "Intimate Strangers" takes place in William's stuffy conservative office and Anna is dressed in layers of dark colored heavy clothing. But as she blossoms from the benefits of her "analysis," her makeup, hair, clothing becomes lighter and more revealing: obvious but effective. William also changes and there is one odd though funny scene of him dancing solo a la Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" to Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" that has to be seen to be believed.
"Intimate Strangers" is a strange little movie that expects a lot from its viewers but just manages to stay on our good side by treating us like we have some intelligence and taste. Though it teeters on the edge of facetiousness, it doesn't ever make the leap over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It just wouldn't end. I kept thinking, this is going to go somewhere, something will happen, somebody will do something interesting, something exciting will happen, somebody will... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dan Lebryk
I originally saw it the theatre and loved it, then bought it on dvd when it came out. A friend misplaced the dvd, hence my purchase of the VHS. Read morePublished 23 months ago by RICHARD GIVENS
Sandra Bonnaire superbly plays Anna, who is in a loveless marriage and accidently meets a quiet introverted tax lawyer, who also is separated from his unfaithful wife. Read morePublished on November 14, 2012 by Lindsay George
I love that movie and have seen it in Europe some years ago and always wanted it on DVD to share with friends. Bought it now but was disappointed to see that this is a cut version. Read morePublished on June 9, 2012 by Schnups
I absolutely loved this casual French movie about a Parisian woman experiencing marital strain. She decides to seek a professional help and accidentaly discloses her personal... Read morePublished on January 31, 2012 by Eugenia
The male lead here is pretty much expressionless throughout, and I grew weary. There's a dark undercurrent of violence that never explodes and leaves you awaiting something much... Read morePublished on December 30, 2010 by Brad Smith
An attractive woman walks into an office she believes to be that of a psychiatrist and proceeds to reveal her innermost secrets to a baffled tax lawyer. Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by Chris Hilton
The idea is interesting: a woman walks into a tax accountant's office and mistakes him for a therapist...or does she? Read morePublished on April 20, 2008 by KerrLines
Intimate Strangers has some very good moments which compel you to watch more - particularly as the main character wrestles with the mystery of his strange guest.. Read morePublished on January 17, 2008 by Stalwart Kreinblaster
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