Intimate Strangers

Portraying the kind of sexuality that speaks more through looks and words than through physical contact has always been a delicate business. However, the director Patrice Leconte clearly warms to such relationships; he has also mastered the art of portraying them on screen. Leconte likes creating distance between his male and female characters: he builds the dynamic of his films on distance rather than closeness and more often than not deals with unrequited love or unconfessed passions. Leconte's Confidences Trop Intimes combines themes such as voyeurism, unrequited love and psycho-analysis with the style of comedy and films noirs; it also, of course, reflects the director's predilection for obsessive affairs of the heart. The film is about what unfolds when the attractive Anna (Sandrine Bonnaire) turns up at the wrong office, mistaking a financial consultant for the psychiatrist she'd intended to see. Swept away by Anna and her confessions, financier William (Fabrice Luchini) plays along, keeping quiet about his real identity. It's not long before the electricity sparks between them -the kind that's hard to put into words. Leconte begins his story in film noir style (the woman who knocks on the wrong door has all the qualities of a femme fatale), prods us into suspecting a murder, then advances through a series of misunderstandings towards black comedy and psychoanalytical satire.. Only in the final straits do we realise that the entire film is given to an unconventional relationship between the sexes; one that defies definition and has more to do with emotional intimacy than physical contact. But the smooth flow of the narrative prevents the film dissolving into disarray and makes for a rounded end-product. Dispensing with big surprises, Leconte gives the film a simple but powerful ending and in so doing demonstrates his skill at dealing with this kind of story. Clearly, "the director of memorable romances" hasn't yet run out of things to say about love...

Patrice Leconte

Jérôme Tonnerre

Eduardo Serra

Joelle ax

Les Films Alain Sarde

Anne Brochet
Fabrice Luchini
Gilbert Melki
Michael Duchaussoy
Sandrine Bonnaire

Pascal Estève

10th Festival on Wheels