A winter's Friday night in Paris, where a public-transport strike has forced the city's traffic to a grinding halt. Caught up in the gridlock is Laure (Valérie Lemercier), who's supposed to be moving in with her boyfriend the next day. Then a stranger, Jean (Vincent Lindon), knocks on her car window, their chance encounter turning into a joyful one-night stand...
Writer/director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day) has no interest in probing her characters' jobs or personal relationships, instead choosing to zoom in on their mutual desire through an impressionistic marriage of visuals and sound. Dialogue is almost non-existent in this impressive sexual fantasy (as is typical of many of Denis' films) and meaning is conveyed using far trickier methods - close-ups of glances exchanged between the lovers, or by the way that Agnès Godard's mobile camera tracks their body language within the confined spaces.
It won't be to everyone's tastes, that's for sure, but Vendredi Soir is warm, tender and discreet, romantic filmmaking par excellence.