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Stranger By The Lake (English Subtitled) 2014 NR

(112) IMDb 6.9/10
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One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, STRANGER BY THE LAKE has been described as a modern-day Hitchcockian masterpiece. Franck who spends his summer visiting a cruising spot at a picturesque lake finds himself attracted to a handsome "stranger" known as Michel. When a body is discovered in the lake, Frank and Michel soon become primary suspects of the investigation.

Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou
1 hour, 40 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, International
Director Alain Guiraudie
Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou
Supporting actors Patrick d'Assumçao, Jérôme Chappatte, Mathieu Vervisch, Gilbert Traina, Emmanuel Daumas, Sébastien Badachaoui, Gilles Guérin, François-Renaud Labarthe, Claude Bellelle, Slawomir Cieminski, Jean-Marie Crémier, Bernard Delavaux, Bernard German, Jean-Michel Giordano, Lucien Lerda, Patrick Marconi, Serge Morgadinho, Eric Piccolotto
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Anthony McGill on March 7, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What do you do when you witness a murder being committed but become sexually attracted to the killer? This is the dilemma that faces Franck when, in the twilight hours at a gay cruising spot, he watches stunned and fascinated as Michel drowns his lover. Alain Guiraudie's breakthrough movie is a mini-classic that slowly hooks you in with its gradual build up of suspense until its dramatic, inconclusive but brilliant ending. You could say there is not a lot we learn of the protagonists but that's very much in keeping with the mysterious men who spend their days in the woods and the lake searching for anonymous sexual encounters. This could be the main reason for Franck's desire for the homicidal Michel, the sexual fear of danger and the unknown. Henri, a portly "straight" man who sits by himself until befriended by Franck, is the only character who seems to have another life although even that could be misleading. I think the secret of the film's intrigue is the fact it never leaves the lake. We watch as the same cars arrive each day, park in the same spots, their inhabitants take up their usual locations, persist in keeping some sort of etiquette whether by the water or cruising in the woods. People who break the rules are frowned upon. It's a little world inside another little world. Seeing a scattering of mostly naked gay men spending their days at the lake is not unlike seeing the same men spending an afternoon at the golf course. These are male rituals and it all appears rather innocuous until the expected "action" occurs in the woods surrounding the lake, leading to more male rituals. Be warned there are two or three very explicit sex scenes that could have been lifted from a gay porn flick.Read more ›
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Charlus on February 15, 2014
Format: Blu-ray probably would look something like this. This is a striking film that just has catapulted director Alain Guiraudie into the front ranks of world cinema. Whether he will stay there only time will tell, but he has just made everyone pay attention with this work. An award winner at Cannes, voted the best film of 2013 by the Cahiers du Cinema, it is a diabolical delight contrasting a formalist technique with a deeply unsettling storyline.

A man thinks he sees a murder committed at a gay cruising spot. Unlike James Stewart, who is in an analogous predicament in "Rear Window", the witness starts dating the suspect. Complications ensue.

Sexually explicit, psychologically disturbing and with a closing image that will haunt you for days, this is a startlingly original film that is not for the faint of heart. But it is also one you are unlikely to forget.
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Format: DVD
Alain Guiraudie's French puzzler "Stranger by the Lake" is a surprisingly straightforward story that somehow still manages to resist easy definition. Like many, I was lured into the film by the usual devices. The DVD packaging and critical accolades promise a thriller with the overused (and seldom accurate) adjective "Hitchcockian" being employed. Being a lover of Hitchcock's work, I find it a somewhat lazy film criticism to stamp every quasi-thriller as a work reminiscent of Hitchcock. In fact, to even call "Stranger by the Lake" a thriller might be using language that will upset some viewers looking for breakneck pacing or huge dramatic moments. Instead, this story unfolds rather languidly. I'm not saying this to be critical, but to help realign viewer expectations. Not much happens in the scope of the film from an action standpoint, it is rather the unusual choices that characters make that fuel any inherent drama or conflict.

Set at a lakeside cruising spot for homosexual patrons, the movie introduces us to Franck (Pierre Daladonchamps who won a Cesar Award as Most Promising Actor for this role). Franck is an attractive guy who draws easy attention, but he seems somewhat aloof from it all. He befriends an odd man who distances himself from the crowd and secretly pines for the beach lothario (Christophe Paou) with a certain Marlboro Man appeal. He is not immune to the antics of casual sex in the bushes, but his heart belongs to Paou despite the fact that he barely knows the other man. One night he witnesses an attack of brutality that should have him running for the hills. But instead of recoiling in horror, he steadfastly remains on course in his courtship of Paou.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on May 26, 2014
Format: DVD
Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) spends the summer frequenting an all-male nude beach where men come to sunbathe and to engage in casual sex in the woods nearby. One quiet evening, he secretly witnesses a man, Michel (Christophe Paou), whom he briefly met earlier in the day, drown another young man, perhaps his lover, in the lake. Despite this knowledge, Franck finds himself so intensely and inexplicably drawn to the killer that he establishes a relationship and quickly begins falling in love with him.

Laced with highly-charged erotic undertones, "Stranger By the Lake" is a low-keyed, multi-leveled thriller whose dark and disturbing themes simmer beneath a deceptively simple surface. The sex is certainly graphic in its depiction - no simulation going on here, folks - but it is germane to the storytelling and integral to the theme.

Written and directed by Alain Guiraudie, this psycho-sexual chiller achieves an uber-creepy tone without resorting to a single cliché associated with the overworked genre. Heck, there isn't even any music to helpfully alert us to the story's moments of greatest intensity. The movie creates suspense through the observation of character rather than through overt action or violence, with the placidity of the setting placed in stark relief against the grimness of the crime.

Except for the fact that it's in color, "Stranger By the Lake" has much of the look and feel of an early Michelangelo Antonioni film, what with its languid pacing, the artful minimalism of its shots, and the obliqueness of its storytelling and characters. In fact, what's most disturbing about the characters is their seemingly utter detachment not only from the society around them but from their own emotions and any semblance of a moral code.
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