The Intruder (L'Intrus) (2005)



Critic Consensus: The impressionistic narrative may confound the viewer, but Denis crafts wonderfully poetic, dreamlike imagery.

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Movie Info

Claire Denis' elliptical drama L'Intrus was inspired by a short book written by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy about his heart transplant. In the film, Michel Subor (Le Petit Soldat) stars as Louis, who lives fairly self-sufficiently in a small cabin in the snowy wilds near the Swiss border. Louis has a son (Grégoire Colin, who also starred with Subor in the director's Beau Travail) whose wife (Florence Loiret-Caille) is a border guard, and they have two young children, but Louis has a strained relationship with his family. He lives a hard, stoic life out in the cold. Mysterious strangers cross the border at all hours of the day and night, and Louis vigilantly -- sometimes violently -- protects his homestead. It soon comes to pass that he needs a heart transplant. Louis quickly and quietly makes some arrangements, and travels to Pusan for the operation. He makes the demand that he be given a young man's heart, and not a woman's. His health still failing, Louis then travels to Tahiti, hoping for a final reunion with another son, whom he abandoned years before. The footage of the young Subor in Tahiti was taken from an uncompleted adaptation of a Robert Louis Stevenson story directed by Paul Gégauff. L'Intrus also stars Béatrice Dalle, Katia Golubeva, and Alex Descas in smaller roles. The film was shown by the Film Society of Lincoln Center as part of 2005's Rendez-Vous With French Cinema. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
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Beatrice Dalle
as La reine de l'hémisphère nord
Michel Subor
as Louis Trebor
Edwin Alin
as Le patron de la quincaillerie
Chang Se-tak
as L'associé du propriétaire du bateau
Dong-ho Kim
as Le propriétaire du bateau
Park Hong-suk
as L'homme du marché aux poissons
Anna Tetuaveroa
as La mère
Alex Descas
as Le prêtre
Lolita Chammah
as La sauvageonne
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Critic Reviews for The Intruder (L'Intrus)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11)

While it may take a few viewings to sort the details out, much about L'Intrus lingers, shimmering quietly in the memory.

Full Review… | April 7, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

An interior epic with epic exteriors, a film with very little dialogue, where the pictures (photographed by the great Agnès Godard), actors and the juxtaposition of both tell the story.

Full Review… | March 31, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Never has Denis demanded so much from audiences as with this shimmering enigma, at once intimate and epic, but it's worth the effort and then some.

Full Review… | March 16, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A beautiful, complex work that challenges viewers to mentally sift interior and exterior journeys.

Full Review… | March 16, 2006
Top Critic

Denis' film -- which may be her most intricately constructed and intensely beautiful to date -- is one that transcends words and stories, a movie to be felt rather than rationalized.

Full Review… | March 16, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Denis composes a majestic dream book of shots and sequences.

Full Review… | February 2, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Intruder (L'Intrus)

While I appreciate minimalist dialogue, and it was cinematographically beautiful at times, I found this too slow and boring.

Jeff B
Jeff B

An extremely murky script and cinematography together doom this picture. As for the acting? Well, there really isn't any. The players are only occasionally glimpsed in the darkness. Some critic here who describes L'Intrus as "Impressionistic" is clueless.

Hal Morris
Hal Morris

[center][font=Times New Roman][size=4][img][/img][/size][/font][/center] [font=Times New Roman][size=4]Summary (from IMDB): Louis Trebor lives alone with dogs in the forest near the French-Swiss border. He has heart problems, seeks a transplant, and then goes in search of a son sired years before in Tahiti. Will his body accept his heart? Will his son accept his offer?[/size][/font] [center][img][/img][/center] [font=Times New Roman][size=4]Honestly, I don't really know what to say. L'Intrus is first and most obvious and treat in cinematography. It's up there as one of the best visual experiences I've ever had. The Denis, Godard combination seems to be unstoppable. To say that I had any idea what was going on narrative-wise would be a bold-faced lie, though. I could follow the very basic narrative outline, but I had a lot of trouble figuring out most of this. I've grouped this in the same rating category as another film I know I like, but can't quite grasp - Zerkalo.[/size][/font]

Chris Weseloh
Chris Weseloh

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