Intimate Strangers review

A lonely man's life being transformed by a chance encounter is a recurrent theme in the work of French director Patrice Leconte: think Jean Rochefort's retired teacher meeting Johnny Hallyday's bank-robber in L'Homme Du Train; or Michel Blanc's middle-aged tailor being confronted by Sandrine Bonnaire's sensual neighbour in Monsieur Hire.

In `sentimental thriller' Intimate Strangers, lawyer William (Fabrice Luchini) is mistaken for a psychoanalyst who works in the same building. The scenario's complicated when William chooses to keep schtum, taking regular sessions with a woman (Sandrine Bonnaire) who pours out her marital problems...

A dialogue-heavy affair that's largely set in the cocoon of William's sombre office, Leconte's latest threatens to stifle. Thankfully, however, the central performances circulate a little air into proceedings, Luchini and Bonnaire subtly conveying the complexities of characters forced to deal with unexpected feelings. Intriguing.

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