The action in Canadian provocateur Atom Egoyan's cryptic Exotica revolves largely around the strip club, which lends the film its name, a faux-tropical hothouse where young female dancers cater to their customers' sexual and psychological needs. Among the regulars is Francis (Bruce Greenwood), a troubled taxman haunted by Christina, a young stripper played by Mia Kirshner. As the film hypnotically unfolds, their relationship is slowly explored, the narrative dovetailing with the stories of a gay pet shop owner (Don McKellar), the Exotica's pregnant owner (Arsinee Khanjian), and its embittered DJ (Elias Koteas). Like all of Egoyan's films, Exotica is a riddle, its answers only fostering more questions. The director's recurring themes of family breakdowns, voyeurism and obsession are all in the mix here as well, but essayed with a new clarity of vision and intensity. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Exotica
One of the most despairing movies, and yet there is in the precision of its craft and the depth of its empathy something fundamentally uplifting.
Egoyan's first Cannes Film Fest entry is an engaging tale of sexual desire and alienation.
Uses its eroticism as a head trip into loneliness, alienation and desperation.
Egoyan's masterpiece -- a twisting tale of erotic obsession and hypnotic storytelling.
Egoyan's intent is not ultimately to disturb us, but to look closely at people at their wits' end, desperate, and sad, in hopes of finding absolution for them.
A mosaic-style thriller whose artful recipe is deepened in The Sweet Hereafter.
It might be set in a strip club, but Atom Egoyan's tale of loneliness, lust and jealously simmers with sensual heat.
Don't be fooled by the soft-core poster; this haunting tale of pain and memory is as good as they come.
Apparent from its ominous, opening pan is Exotica's craft - the film is deliberate and attentive, and displays action that is not apparently related or significant - at first. Ultimately, the exposition purposefully lacks a cohesiveness.
Demonstrates that the mystery of the human personality must be respected and even hallowed.
The director/writer (Atom Egoyan) manages to take a lot of risks in his writing, but his directing was too cautious.
Audience Reviews for Exotica
A hypnotizing film. Bruce Greenwood is a re-occurring patron at a strip club, and becomes fixated on a particular girl. His motives are revealed throughout. Well made film.More
One of Atom Egoyan's best and one of the best interconnected stories I have seen. The very last scene sums up my feelings for this picture. A true compelling masterpiece.
A moody, psychological study of one man's all-consuming guilt and obsessions. Francis(Bruce Greenwood), a tax accountant whose wife and child have both died, finds himself irresistibly drawn to a local strip joint known as "Exotica".
Every night he goes there to gaze upon Christina(Mia Kirshner), a friend of his deceased daughter whose performance consists of shedding the little-girl costume she wears onstage. But the dancer's ex-boyfriend, disturbed by Francis's creepy presence, demands that he stay away from both the club and the young woman.
Francis hires a friend to keep an eye on Christina and report all her doings to him. However, he still cannot accept the loss of his child nor keep his mind off Christina. It's almost as if only death and Christina's fall from grace sustain him.
One of the main reasons why Egoyan film is so great is how these characters connect with one another in more ways then one. I was asking myself "who is this person?, why is Francis filled with anger whenever he is around Harold?, why is Francis paying the Sarah Polley character for babysitting when she is alone playing the piano alone?" and on and on and on.
The best scene takes place when Francis and Thomas (Don McKeller) recap about the murder of Francis's wife and daughter. This explains why Francis goes to the Exotica strip club to talk with Christina. It also explains that Francis was on to Thomas for illegally smuggling eggs into Canada. Everything fits together and in a way I never really expected. This is a great film.
Atom Egoyan's brilliant and disturbing masterpiece on the power of human connection and the elusiveness of same. Egoyan was once applauded by Roger Ebert for never having created a film for commercial reasons.I applaud him for staying in Canada-YAY as most of our talent inevitably heads south...
This is a strange, disjointed story-complex and provocative, and I have to admit, that I had to watch it a few times before "getting" it.
- You're a very responsible young women.
- Responsible to what?
- To whatever it is you feel you must do.
- Like what?
- Don't be afraid, I know everything about you.
- What do you know about me?
- I found her.
- Found who?
- Your little girl.
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