Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Hands of Orlac, The
Death has Blue Eyes
Kala Azar
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
  Intimate Strangers Tell All
Year: 2004
Director: Patrice Leconte
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Fabrice Luchini, Michel Duchaussoy, Anne Brochet, Gilbert Melki, Laurent Gamelon, Hélène Surgère, Urbain Chancelier, Isabelle Petit-Jacques, Véronique Kapoyan, Benoît Pétré, Albert Simono
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Anna (Sandrine Bonnaire) has an appointment with a psychiatrist this afternoon, but as she arrives late in the building the concierge points her to the correct room on the sixth floor and she manages to get it wrong, walking into the office of William (Fabrice Luchini). She sits down at his desk as requested, because he is under the impression she is here for financial advice for he is a tax expert, only for her to start telling him of her unhappy marriage. He listens politely, used to his clients informing him of the background to their cases, but it's only when she gets up to leave that he twigs all is not right...

A Hitchcock thriller that isn't what it seems would be an apt description of director Patrice Leconte's Intimate Strangers, or Confidences trop intimes as you'd know it if you were French-speaking, as here he took one of his familiar lonely man characters and made it look as if to all intents and purposes he was getting involved in a plot way over his head. Watching this you might feel you were far ahead of William, and thinking up possible scenarios for him to fall victim to: you'd seen enough film noir, or at least enough movies influenced by film noir, to expect some kind of mishap. Yet here it would seem Leconte was leading you up the garden path.

This could have been setting the audience up for an anticlimax, but somehow once you had finished watching it didn't come across that way, probably thanks to the two French acting heavyweights taking the lead roles. We can tell from Luchini's mannerisms that his William is an innocent in this premise, a man who has led a thwarted life where he lives in his father's old office, with his father's old job, and trying but failing to get over a divorce which isn't easy when his ex, Jeanne (Anne Brochet), remains on such friendly terms with him. He really needs a change of scenery, cooped up in that office which doubles as his home for days on end, and it could be that Anna is the woman to offer that.

However, she still believes he is her psychiatrist, and is pouring her heart out to him in brief bursts of therapy, which he knows he should point out to her that are in no way official because he is not a licenced shrink, but somehow is so captivated that he cannot. The fact is, he really enjoys the company of Anna, so when she disappears from his life he wants to make the connection once again and he tries to get her phone number from the actual psychiatrist (Michel Duchaussoy) down the hall. He susses what William is up to and proceeds to give him friendly advice (yet still charges!), but it might be too late as Anna makes contact to let him know the game is up and she is now well aware of the subterfuge.

This could have gone a number of ways, but Leconte preferred to string us along until practically the end of the movie before revealing what was actually going on, and even then you may have questions. Anna decides that no matter if William wasn't who she thought he was, she is going to continue seeing him and soon a curious relationship develops where we're not sure if he's amateurishly analysing her or she is more precisely taking his psychology to bits. His behaviour undoubtedly alters, but does this mean he's falling in love, and if he is, it this reciprocated? For that matter, is what Anna tells him about her unhappy marriage true or is she building up to some grand revelation which will shift the ground under her new confidante's feet? The thought that either William is about to be involved with a murder or some dodgy sexual games playing makes Anna's candour rather odd in retrospect, yet that Leconte did not go the obvious route has an interesting effect. Pascal Estève composed the uneasy music.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1535 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: