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Intimate Strangers

29 customer reviews

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(Dec 28, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

William Faber became a tax accountant like his father and resolved himself to a life where nothing much ever changed. At least until the beautiful Anna walked in one day and mistook his office for the therapist's down the hall. Unsolicited, Anna begins to reveal intimate details of her life which include how she is seeking security by attempting to save her tumultuous marriage. William and Anna find a bond developing between them, one that only true strangers can have, even after she finds out who he really is...or is not! Masterfully directed by French film legen Patrice Leconte ("Man on the Train," "Girl on the Bridge," "The Widow of St. Pierre"), "Intimate Strangers" takes you on a journey into the depths of human relationships and shows just how intimate strangers can be.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire, Fabrice Luchini, Michel Duchaussoy, Anne Brochet, Gilbert Melki
  • Directors: Patrice Leconte
  • Writers: Patrice Leconte, Jérôme Tonnerre
  • Producers: Alain Sarde, Christine Gozlan
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00068S3QY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Intimate Strangers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Jana L.Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2005
Format: DVD
Anna, (Sandrine Bonnaire), opens the wrong door and ends up in the office of tax attorney William Faber, (Fabrice Luchini), instead of next door for her first appointment with Dr. Monnier, a psychiatrist. Before the bemused Farber can straighten things out, Anna begins to unburden herself candidly, as if she's been on the couch for years. "I have an urgent problem," says she. Then, confessing that her marriage is on the rocks, her husband unemployed and impotent - he hasn't touched her in six months - she begins to cry. William is stunned, moved by her tears, but before he can respond she is out the door. Fast exit, no payment. Everyone knows that the fee is part of therapy.

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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Mann on July 15, 2005
Format: DVD
`Attraction and avoidance' is a common enough theme in romantic movies. What's unique in Intimate Strangers is the setting and therefore the intricate dance that it creates.

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?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on October 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Anna (Sandrine Bonnaire) enters an old office building, goes up to the sixth floor and rings the buzzer to be lead into the office of William (Fabrice Luchini), a Tax advisor. Anna talks pretty much non-stop about her marriage, her brutish husband, and her lack of sex life. Then stops, gets up and leaves: having embarrassed herself by her ramblings. There is a problem though: Anna thinks that William is her new therapist and William, seemingly so fascinated with Anna that he says nothing to the contrary even going so far as to schedule another appointment for the following week.

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.
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