Patrice Leconte’s ‘Intimate Strangers’ has an intriguing scenario. Anna is a thirties something woman with marital problems busily talking about her problems during her first appointment with her new psychiatrist. There’s just one little hiccup. She isn’t unburdening herself to her new shrink, Dr Monnier. She has stepped into the wrong rooms and is talking to mild mannered tax accountant, William Faber. He is so drawn to Anna and her story that he assumes the shrinks role. Anna is so pleased with their session that she books in for another appointment. Faber has a new career!
The films’ tagline summed up what this movie was about. ‘She confused him for a therapist and told him her deepest secrets. Now, two people who never should have met are discovering there’s nothing more seductive than the truth’.
‘Intimate Strangers’ had rich pickings. I enjoyed its unpredictability, never going quite where one expected it to. I loved how multi-layered it was. It felt like everytime that the film was getting just a little under powered a new layer was added. It was usually managed through introducing a new character; the real psychiatrist, Anna’s husband…
The music score was well woven into the film, cue-ing shifts in the narrative, and adding to the atmosphere.
There were many questions. Who was this woman Anna, what did she want, how was she going to involve William?
I enjoyed spending time with most of the characters.
I particularly liked the character of William’s spunky ex-wife who hadn’t quite made the leap away from William to her new relationship. I least enjoyed the character of William’s possessive, matronly secretary. Sure there was comedy, however I found her characters far too stereotypical and cliched.
The two main characters were taken on impressive journeys- Anna to break away from her the little girl part of herself, William to finally come out from his father’s shadow.
To top off a fine film, Leconte came with a superb ending. All in all , ‘Intimate Strangers’, (maybe that’s all we can ever be for each other), was one of my favourite films of the year .