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  • Intimacy [DVD] [2001]
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Intimacy [DVD] [2001]

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Product details

  • Actors: Mark Rylance, Kerry Fox, Susannah Harker, Alastair Galbraith, Philippe Calvario
  • Directors: Patrice Chéreau
  • Writers: Patrice Chéreau, Anne-Louise Trividic, Hanif Kureishi
  • Producers: Charles Gassot, Jacques Hinstin, Lesley Stewart, Patrick Cassavetti
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Pathe
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun. 2002
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063VBH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,497 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


In modern day London a barman and a married woman meet every Wednesday afternoon to have anonymous sex in his flat. Gradually the man, Jay (Mark Rylance), and the woman, Claire (Kerry Fox), find out about each other's real lives, and Jay even befriends Claire's husband Andy (Timothy Spall). Jay first thinks that he is using Claire, and is surprised to find that in fact it is her who is using him; meanwhile, Andy guesses the truth about Jay, and Claire tries to gather the strength to give up the affair.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on 1 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
Much has been said already by other reviewers here, so I'll only add different points of view. I think this is an extra-ordinary cameo of a brief sexual affair between two stangers. If the sex scenes are controversial then I think it's because they are natural and realistic, contrasting with stylised sex in mainstream films. This is a beautiful, sensitive erotic story.

What makes it erotic is the compelling attraction between the two characters - this is done without words and is a strong point in the film, as Jay remarks on several occassions. Their encounters are the stuff of fantasies - anonymous sex. What is really refreshing from a woman's point of view is Jay's strength of feeling and tenderness in the role, performed brilliantly by Mark Rylance. To see a Jay cry in the last scene gives us another insight: a man needing more than sexual gratification - he wants relationship. By the end of the film we know he didn't leave his wife just because their sex life was over it was much more complex than that. As for Claire's role - well women aren't supposed to act like that are they? You know so detached emotionally? This is a brave film that turns gendered stereotypes and behaviour around. Another reason why it is so refreshing.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Joe hanak on 28 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD
When first approaching this film, I had mixed thoughts on the sort of message it hoped to produce. The graphic sex scenes could have lead me to believe that it was merely a test of controversy that its French director found titillating. Although I was not particularly impressed throughout, when I thought back on it, I realised the many levels that the film communicated on.
For a start, the film is not entirely about the crumbling of a marriage and the desperate search for passion in an otherwise lust less life. I discovered that so much of the film was dedicated to the dissection of the male ego. The constant Oedipal complexities that are present, help enhance the message about the power that the archetypal male craves. Our protagonist 'Jay' is a scared middle-aged man, weakened by the failure of his marriage and his in-ability to satisfy sexually. He struggles to hold on to false feelings of power in his work place (A good example of his inferiority occurs when his barman undermines him.)
His Wednesday activities with cheating wife and mother Jane, are deliberately shot to depict the unglamorous truth behind loveless sex. Jane's husband (brilliantly portrayed by Timothy Spall) serves as a good example of a man who has been stripped of his power and therefore lost meaning in his routine life of denial. The best scene in the film comes when Jay admits the adultery in code, whilst complaining about his bitter life, over a macho game of pool. Definitely a compelling film. Anyone studying Psychology or film studies would surely benefit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Wilson on 28 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film about a man, Jay, who appears to have left a cold and sexless marriage but is now engaged in a 'no strings' relationship that consists only of sex for a few hours on a Wednesday. It is bleak and deeply unsatisfying in many ways but the film is compelling because of the truly astonishing acting of Mark Rylance who makes this deeply flawed character seem almost likeable in his vulnerability. The final scenes where he finally reveals his true feelings about himself and her is worth the entire film for and should be studied by any acting student.

I can't really say I enjoyed the film though (although I was riveted) despite appreciating the fantastic acting of Mark Rylance and Timothy Spall. Marianne Fathfull is merely a bit part actor with shamefully little to do. The sex is not erotic and overly intrusive. The word 'exploitative' springs to mind. I hope the actors were comfortable with it as I would hate to pay for a movie to see something that made them unhappy.

All in all it's 5 stars for the amazing acting and not the direction or the story itself - as that is bleak, slightly depressing but fantastically well acted.
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69 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
When I went to see that movie, I was a bit afraid of the sex scenes talked about in all media after this film had been awarded two Golden Bears, the highest awards of Berlin film festival (I prefer to watch films that got awards)...
What I then saw were two white bodies, moving together like Rodin's sculptures beautifully united in their dance of desire...There was no artificial smiles or styled muscles, natural true sex with sweating and sounds of exercise, and the relief afterwards, tenderness, not many words were exchanged ...
It was a film tremendously moving for the truth it showed, starting with the sex on the floor, pictures of the protagonist Jay smoking on the toilet in a bathroom filled with fungi (men usually do not clean up, that is so real)..
Reality without cosmetic everywhere: the brown, grey blocks of London suburbs, Jay's friend Victor, a sweating alcoholic wearing a moist but elegant jacket, wonderfully realistically played, too, Claire, in contrast to her type wearing once elegant black much too expensive underwear, which highlighted the image of her being a bad actress..(she played that role wonderfully, showing how good she really is..)..
Mark Rylance was superb in showing so much vulnerability, having had to leave the family, the boys he very much loved, the wife he still waited to show him something more than just detest(there is a rather naturalistic masturbation scene, after his wife had turned away from him in bed sleeping like their dead relationship..)...So much following, a great playing Marianne Faithful, Timothy Spall wonderful, all these naturalistic characters at the Pub or at the actors school...
I can watch that film on and on and still discover new things all the time....Wished that everybody could get so much from it!
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