Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
A superb stylist, fascinated by the unlikely ways in which people reach out to each other, writer/director Patrice Leconte concocts a romantic blend of mystery, intimacy and desire in Intimate Strangers. Sandrine Bonnaire plays a troubled woman seeking help from a psychiatrist, though her elegantly tremulous manner suggests she might actually be a femme fatale in search of a Bogart. What she gets, quite by accident, is a tax consultant. Entering the wrong office suite, she immediately starts spilling her troubles to the receptive little guy behind the desk, played by Fabrice Luchini, a master of the repressed and fastidious. He’s mesmerised – and too embarrassed by his interest to disillusion her. With the sidelined psychiatrist down the hall keeping an amused eye on progress, the plot does indeed thicken, all the better to illuminate the ways these two drifting souls respond to each other’s sense of incompleteness.
“If Hitchcock had made a pure romantic comedy it might have been something like this mischievous offering from Leconte.” — Demetrios Matheou, Sight & Sound