Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
R-Rated Full Screen Edition
Actors: Mark Rylance, Kerry Fox, Susannah Harker, Alastair Galbraith, Philippe Calvario
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
What starts out as a weekly anonymous tryst between a divorced man and a married woman turns into a searing portrait of loneliness and emotional need. Directed by Patrice Chereau (Queen Margot), INTIMACY won the Golden Bea... more »
When the center doesn't hold
Eileen Galen | USA | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This amazing movie is a look at the ways that a man, the protagonist Jay (Mark Rylance) once-married, and a once fairly conventional husband and dad, can utterly fall apart in divorce, the heartbreaking ways he might try to put a life back together, and the ache for connection and communion that can't necessarily be soothed - within or without "happy" marriages. By now the plot and the fact of its depiction of acts of sexual intercourse are well-known. There is a woman, Claire. She shows up at Jay's door, Wednesdays at 2 PM. We don't know anything about her at first - just that once she's in his apartment, her clothes (and his) come off. The five to ten minutes of intense once-weekly sex on Jay's apartment floor is no less important for being quick and wordless; it is a sort of a pact between the couple, and their shared illness, really. But it can't, ultimately, do the trick, and the film succeeds - unmoralistically - in showing us how and why. The urge to find either oblivion or ecstasy - whether via alcohol or sex or other means - fuels the couple. There are amazing surprises along the way, via a script that is utterly believable and natural. In fact, every aspect of the protagonist Jay's life is in fact shown harshly, "graphically," whether it is his hectic job tending bar, his messy, depressing apartment (further evidence that he has lost his moorings), his several friends, or his frantic travels through London. (The camera chases him, and he is chasing her). We're by turns frustrated, confused, and focused. One's attention never wanders during this story.Children (Jay's and Claire's) are used well in this film. They can tell the truth, and they do. They use the word "love" - and the adults in this movie really can't. In several scenes Jay is at his ex-wife's apartment, bathing his beautiful little sons. He lies on what was the marriage bed and makes a sort of sad and frantic fetish of his ex-wife's underwear, and is interrupted by his son, who needs his help. We are never asked to be voyeurs, but witnesses to a lot of sadness, distress - and the difficulty, really, of the attainment of happiness.This is an astonishing film about broken hearts - and what people might do to try to mend them."
A Limp Mess
Westley | Stuck in my head | 02/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Helmed by French auteur Patrice Chéreau, who directed the vastly superior "Queen Margot," the Birtish film "Intimacy" is a limp mess. A man and woman carry on an illicit affair - they meet at his house Wednesday afternoons for sex. They know nothing about each other, not even names. Eventually, the man (Jay, played by Mark Rylance) finds himself wanting to know more about the woman (Claire, played by Kerry Fox), and he begins following her after their trysts. What he finds out about her throws their relationship into question."Intimacy" gained attention and notoriety for its explicit sex scenes (the R-rated version is also available, and these scenes are edited a great deal). The sex scenes are among the most graphic ever seen in a mainstream movie, including a rather shocking scene where Fox fellates Rylance (everything is shown). Ultimately, however, the sex scenes are quite un-sexy as the characters are so distant from each other. A movie called "Intimacy" that lacks any intimacy whatsoever? Sounds like an elaborate joke to me.Aside from the explicitness of the sex scenes, the movie offers nothing new. The characters are not well-delineated, and the conflicts are ill-defined. On the plus side, Mark Rylance ("Angels & Insects") and Kerry Fox ("Shallow Grave") give good performances; however, it's rather disconcerting seeing such talented actors engaging in graphic sex scenes in a tepid movie. Both actors have impressive backgrounds in the theater, and Rylance has acted extensively in Shakespearian productions at the Globe Theatre. Shaking his spear indeed!Extras: The DVD includes minimal extras: a photo gallery, brief bios of the actors, and the trailer. A director commentary would be much appreciated, or even a commentary from the actors. I'd love to hear what filming the explicit sex scenes was like!"
"We better not go too far, we'll loose money" is the bottom
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Intimacy isn't about titillation or tanned toned Hollywood studs and babes having perfectly choreographed sex in beautiful lighting while poor piano music plays. Instead it's about an ordinary pair of people seeking solace in a purely physical relationship. Both are empty individuals and briefly find something to fire them in their weekly sexual meetings. Nothing is said but there is a purity of understanding.
The relationship, and the film, only falters when the film moves outside the seedy flat that the liaisons take place in. The wordless arrangement can only work while everything is strictly anonymous, and once Jay (Rylance) delves into Claire's (Fox) personal life their apparently simple relationship becomes more complicated.
It's also here that the film briefly slumps. Jay encounters Claire's taxi driver husband, played by an uncharacteristically off form Timothy Spall. Speaking nonsense and totally over the top, his scenes are almost unbearably dreary. I can certainly see why Claire would want peace and quiet and intense sex after listening to that intensely boring man twitter on. Still, it doesn't make his scenes any better to watch.
Despite that though the film regains it footing and ends strongly. Even Timothy Spall's character shows some hidden depths! However, Intimacy works best as a comment on the relationships people trap themselves in. It's easier to stay in an unhappy relationship than walk out, and starting something new takes courage. Jay and Claire are unable to escape their empty lives, except in their sexual relationship. Really both are cowards. Neither is happy, but neither makes a serious effort to change their circumstances. Sex is a temporary answer to a permanent problem, and until they reach out for something more neither will be happy.
The film had an increasing energy which I liked, and I'm sure you would like it too, if you let yourself inside the film.
I love you on wednesday, but not on thursday-E.S.V.Millay
H. Mueller | Wuppertal, Germany | 11/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I went to see that movie, I was a bit afraid of the sex scenes talked about in all media after this film had been awarded two Golden Bears, the highest awards of Berlin film festival (I prefer to watch films that got awards)...
What I then saw were two white bodies, moving together like Rodin's sculptures beautifully united in their dance of desire...There was no artificial smiles or styled muscles, natural true sex with sweating and sounds of exercise, and the relief afterwards, tenderness, not many words were exchanged ...
It was a film tremendously moving for the truth it showed, starting with the sex on the floor, pictures of the protagonist Jay smoking on the toilet in a bathroom filled with fungi (men usually do not clean up, that is so real)..
Reality without cosmetic everywhere: the brown, grey blocks of London suburbs, Jay's friend Victor, a sweating alcoholic wearing a moist but elegant jacket, wonderfully realistically played, too, Claire, in contrast to her type wearing once elegant black much too expensive underwear, which highlighted the image of her being a bad actress..(she played that role wonderfully, showing how good she really is..)..
Mark Rylance was superb in showing so much vulnerability, having had to leave the family, the boys he very much loved, the wife he still waited to show him something more than just detest(there is a rather naturalistic masturbation scene, after his wife had turned away from him in bed sleeping like their dead relationship..)...So much following, a great playing Marianne Faithful, Timothy Spall wonderful, all these naturalistic characters at the Pub or at the actors school...
I can watch that film on and on and still discover new things all the time....Wished that everybody could get so much from it!