Intimacy (2001)


Critic Consensus: Acted out with both physical and psychological nakedness by its two leads, Intimacy is an unflinchingly honest look at alienation.


Want to See

Not Interested

Add Rating
My Rating    

Intimacy Photos

Movie Info

She comes to his bed-sit every Wednesday afternoon. They don't speak. They don't even know each other's name. But something passes between them as their bodies converge and passion ignites in the dim, carpeted silence of his basement bedroom. He has left his wife and family. Her story: a mystery, a puzzle waiting to be penetrated and unraveled. Their union: rife with longing and desire, an impermanent compulsion coiled in a fundamental need to reach out and connect with another person, another body.


Critic Reviews for Intimacy

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (25)

Intimacy benefits from cinematographer Eric Gautier's brilliant use of a handheld camera and imaginative wide-screen compositions. The threat of bathos is also kept at bay by the assured performances.

Sep 29, 2017 | Full Review…

There is an interesting story here, but the movie circles it at a distance.

Apr 26, 2002 | Rating: B-

A film with a few floundering moments that becomes a powerful description of what it means to be intimate.

Mar 7, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Its somber ruminations on passion and desire, marriage and aloneness, resonate with unmistakable force.

Jan 17, 2002

It does get at the messy totalitarianism of uninvited emotions, and in that sense, it's haunting.

Dec 28, 2001

Chereau ... creates a wonderful minor-chord symphony.

Dec 28, 2001

Audience Reviews for Intimacy

Dark, but good. I had read the book which shares the name, but it seems they have mixed a few stories together as I am sure that one was just about a rat husband abandoning his wife and kids. He wasn't all that likeable in the book, though it was well written. Again, he's not overly likeable, but the movie gives him a little more depth and interest. Not that his actions are explained here either. Clare was more relatable and sympathetic. Still not exactly a nice person, but you could see she was going through something. As is the male lead, I guess. As with the book, I felt the underlying theme is awareness of mortality and fear of missing out. It's not overt, but that's what I got the sense of with these two characters. Both made poor choices with spouses (not that there seems to be anything badly wrong with either, but they were just not a good fit for this pair). Both felt depressed and trapped. Both made yet another poor choice searching for something elusive in their lives. Honestly I think being middle aged helps you to "get" these characters. I'm sure in my 20's I'd have watched this and thought the pair of them were horrible. I still can't condone their behavior, but I find I can see where it stems from and as such this was a decent watch for me. I wouldn't recommend it for all.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A somewhat difficult film to watch, as relationships and motivations were not always apparent. The sex was desperate and almost brutal and belied the title, as intimacy seemed to be the one thing missing from the affair. The lead Actress, Kerry Fox, while not a classic beauty, still managed to command the screen. Mark Rylance brought a simmering rage to his character, as Jay, the obsessed lover. And Timothy Spall was quietly understated as the cuckolded husband who evoked pity more than empathy. It was good to see Marianne Faithful as the ditzy friend, Betty, who nevertheless causes Claire to face her dilemma with honesty.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


Lust leads to intimacy. Intimacy leads to love. Love leads to turmoil. The sex scenes may be explicit and controversial but there is a lot more to this film than Mark Rylance's boudoir and Kerry Fox's booty.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

This is a surprisingly compelling film. Surprising, because a viewer may expect only to be titillated, or perhaps to be bored. Kerry Fox is alert and brilliantly self-contained as Claire, also hot in her nudity and sex scenes. French director Patrice Chéreau looks upon these characters with a complexity of vision and the candor available to an outsider. He understands both the value and danger of anonymous erotic encounters. Each succeeding sex scene in the film reveals less, physically, and more, emotionally, about the characters.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Intimacy Quotes

News & Features