Film Scouts Reviews

"Intimacy (Intimité)"

by Jonathan Robert Muirhead

The film has a very slow, seductive, French opening. The hand held, intimate camera work gets us involved in the characters' conversations and sexual intercourse. The film's colours are muted at the beginning and seem to drain out as it progresses. The sexual relationship between Kerry Fox and Mark Rylance is the film's axis.

Director Patrice Chereau discreetly cuts away just before we see too much, reminiscent of the famous scene in Roeg's Don't Look Now. Their encounters are grimly fascinating, rather than arousing. The guy wants something more and has a tragic background – he walked out on his wife and kids.

The woman, Fox, is in a rather too dependent marriage to Timothy Spall, so these two kind of need each other. The film revolves around the graphic but passionless sex scenes, with banal domestic discussion in-between. They become repetitive and dull. There's no light and shade, no small moments of happiness counteracting the relentless grey air of depression.

The characters become vamped-up stereotypes. The central couple just plays Brief Encounter with more profanities. There's no empathy between these characters, so we don't care about them. Director Chereau is so intent on making them interesting; he wastes a stellar support cast.

Timothy Spall lights up the screen every time he appears and were Alastair Galbraith's Glaswegian landlord fleshed out more, he'd be a far more interesting character. But Chereau's focusing on a couple who refuse to be intimate and watching them runs its interest course well before the film's two hours are up.

Back to Intimacy

Back to the Press Room

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.