Intimate Strangers

Rated 4.0 A neglected wife (Sandrine Bonnaire) goes to a psychiatrist and begins revealing her most intimate personal secrets—except the “doctor” (Fabrice Luchini) doesn’t have the nerve to tell her that she’s in the wrong office and that he’s really a tax lawyer. What might have been the premise for a madcap comedy is, instead, in the hands of writer Jérôme Tonnerre and director Patrice Leconte, an occasion for a low-key, subtle examination of erotic curiosity and the growing intimacy between two strangers. The film begins like most of Leconte’s widely admired films—cool, aloof and artsy as all get-out—but develops into something more accessible and emotionally satisfying, working out its story without cheat or contrivance. Bonnaire and Luchini are excellent, as is Anne Brochet as the tax lawyer’s ex-lover.