Intimacy
Intimacy

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Certificate: 18 | Released: 2001 | Duration: 1 hr 55 mins | Director: Patrice Chereau |Genres: Drama

A man wakes in mid-afternoon in a grungy London flat. A woman knocks at the door. He lets her in, to an awkward silence. She touches his face tenderly--almost immediately they have stripped and are making love on a mattress on the floor. It is the first of many intense, real-time, sexually-explicit, encounters between Jay (Mark Rylance) and Claire (Kerry Fox). And director Patrice Chereau reinforces the intensity by keeping his widescreen camera very close to the actors.Jay and Claire agree to separate their meetings f ... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

A man wakes in mid-afternoon in a grungy London flat. A woman knocks at the door. He lets her in, to an awkward silence. She touches his face tenderly--almost immediately they have stripped and are making love on a mattress on the floor. It is the first of many intense, real-time, sexually-explicit, encounters between Jay (Mark Rylance) and Claire (Kerry Fox). And director Patrice Chereau reinforces the intensity by keeping his widescreen camera very close to the actors.
Jay and Claire agree to separate their meetings from the rest of their lives. But after one encounter, Jay follows Claire. He discovers that she acts in a basement theater, and is married to a taxi driver, Andy (Timothy Spall). Following her again, Jay loses her. And, in a reversal of roles--like that in Christopher Nolan's FOLLOWING--when she re-emerges from a shop, she follows him. She is amused at first, but is disturbed when he goes to the basement theater.
Using Hanif Kureshi's stories as a basis, Chereau shifts the emphasis from Jay and his pain at separating from his wife. Instead, INTIMACY reveals a woman trying to start feeling again, who is caught between a needy lover and an anguished, insecure husband. Fox gives a fine performance (that won Best Actress at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival) that is the backbone of this powerful drama.

Two strangers meet for sex every Wednesday. When Jay, who has split from his wife, decides to follow Claire and find out more about her, he realises that it is he, who is being used...

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Movie Reviews

TV Guide - 7.0/10 by Ken Fox Powerfully acted, intensely carnal drama.
Chicago Reader - 9.0/10 by Richard M. Porton Chereau's film is both an observant portrait of class-bound London by a foreigner and an empathetic look at sexual passion that completely avoids cheap prurience.
Mr. Showbiz - 10.0/10 by Kevin Maynard A new version of the greatest psychological mystery of all: love.
The New York Times - 7.0/10 by A.O. Scott If Intimacy does anything well, it portrays desperation, in many different forms.
Philadelphia Inquirer - 7.5/10 by Steven Rea A disconcerting experience.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 6.7/10 by Paula Nechak Chereau's film is disjointed and abrupt and it rages when is should be deft. We're given too little too late and, despite the lessons that lie within the affair, the lines between enlightenment and nihilism blur.
Rolling Stone - 8.0/10 by Peter Travers It isn't the sex that shocks here, it's the chilling core of loneliness. Intimacy dares to cut deep, and its daring gets to you.
L.A. Weekly - 8.0/10 by Manohla Dargis Although much has and will be made of the film's sexual explicitness -- and, yes, it is a bit -- this less-than-perfect but deeply felt film is finally most daring for its hard-core insistence on our need for connection.

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