Patrice Leconte's Intimate Strangers develops from an intriguing premise: A troubled woman (Sandrine Bonnaire) making her first visit to a psychiatrist walks into the wrong office and starts pouring out her troubles to a baffled (but captivated) tax lawyer (Fabrice Luchini). Too beguiled to set things straight, the lonely lawyer lets this beautiful woman make another appointment, and an ever-deepening interpersonal mystery ensues. Part erotic thriller, part romance, part psychological drama, this gem from France (by the director of The Man on the Train) in the end defies all categories as it deeply unsettles us. While Luchini's fascinated listener devours his "patient's" every revelation, she grows ever more enigmatic. Is she mad? Telling the truth? Onto the game? What are we to make of the lawyer's consultation with the real doctor to discuss his new role as her confidant?
Intimate Strangers will screen Wednesday, December 1, in the University of Colorado's International Film Series. Showings are at 7 and 9:15 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus. For more information, log on to www.internationalfilmseries.com. -- Bill Gallo