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Between Strangers (2002)

Three women confront their pasts which changes their futures.




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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander Bauer
Grocery Store Owner
Ngozi Taymah Armatrading ...
Angolan War Child
Sydney Pearson ...
Little Girl


Toronto, 2001. Three women in spiritual crisis. In secret from her dismissive husband, Olivia draws what she sees in dreams. Catherine, a world-class cellist, has abandoned her husband and daughter to hunt down her father. Photojournalist Natalia, in her famous father's footsteps, scores her first Time Magazine cover, but realizes she has paid an incalculable price for the photo. Olivia has another secret besides her art; Catherine makes discoveries about her father; Natalia receives a gift that's undeserved: these complications push each woman in a new and unexpected direction. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Three strangers - one secret.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

13 September 2002 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Coeurs inconnus  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€31,102 (Italy) (15 September 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


When the gardener Max after twenty minutes recites a poem, it is the second stanza of the poem "La vie idéale" by Charles Cros (1842-1888). See more »


When John first looks at Olivia's charcoal drawings, the light reflecting off the paper shows it to be a smooth, semi-gloss surface. Neither the drawing paper for charcoal nor the medium itself reflects light in this way; these appear to be photographs of charcoal drawings. See more »


Referenced in Panel Quiz Attack 25: Episode dated 3 April 2005 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating Triple character study
3 February 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Between Strangers is a muted, introspective film about several women whose path in life has brought them face to face with emotional obstacles, and carefully explores them with depth and feeling, if admittedly not completely following through on each arc satisfyingly. Sophia Loren (yes, she's still alive!) plays an aging woman who believes in a psychic link between herself and a girl half across the country who she believes to be her long lost daughter. Her abrasive husband (Pete Postlethwaite uses his usual genius to make complex work of a thankless role) thinks she's bonkers. An aspiring journalist (Mira Sorvino continues to prove how criminally underrated she is) suffers a crippling crisis of conscience when her peppy father (Klaus Maria Brandeur) brings her a job that is beyond morally questionable. Finally, in the film's most stirring vignette, a lost, broken woman attempts to confront her estranged father, who killed her mother in a drunken rage decades earlier. Vancouver actress Deborah Kara Unger, who makes a point to daringly seek out roles that most would steer well clear of, is plain heartbreaking, a cello musician who's ultimate chorus is the searing lament and rage towards the hand she has been dealt. Malcolm McDowell is utterly compelling as the father, a man so annihilated by his own actions he can barely stand to be inside his own skin. Their story culminates in a quietly devastating face to face interaction that sets the screen ablaze with cold fire, a sequence both performers should be immensely proud of. The film has its uneven moments, and while neither of the segments has much to do with each other story-wise, they tie nicely together in the sense that here are three women who take a bold, bravely realized look at their own lives, and step off the beaten track of what's expected of them, and even what they've come to expect from themselves, emblazoning important themes of both female independence and reawakening.

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