A failed London musician meets once a week with a woman for a series of intense sexual encounters to get away from the realities of life. But when he begins inquiring about her, it puts their relationship at risk.
Jay is a bartender who abandoned his family because his wife lost interest in him and their relationship. Now living alone in a decrepit house, he has casual weekly sex with an anonymous woman, whose name he does not know. At first, their relationship is purely physical, but he eventually falls in love with her. Wanting to know more about her, he follows her across the streets of London to the grey suburbs where she lives. He then follows her to a pub theatre where she works as an actress in the evenings. He learns that her name is Claire, and she is married to Andy has a son. Subsequently, it is made clear to him that she will not leave her family. They meet for a final time and have sex with an intimacy that has been missing during the illicit sex sessions of their previous encounters.Written by
In reference to her male co-star, Kerry Fox says: "My biggest fear was that the other actor might be a horrible person," she says. "Patrice had asked him to do the job, and he had asked to meet. I am sure he wanted to figure me out, too. But we were able to make a judgment within the first couple of minutes that we were thinking along the same lines." There then followed the sort of meeting that could inspire a script for a film of its own: Fox and Linklater dining with Rylance and his wife, to discuss the project. "We talked about it a lot, the four of us," she recalls. It must have been a remarkably mature discussion? "Yes - and drunken." Did she ever feel, at any time, that they were planning pornography? "No, because I really don't see myself as a porn star. Any porn I have seen bears no resemblance to what we were doing. The scenes were very clearly and precisely written. What is common in erotic scenes is that actors are often left to it by the director. In this case, we knew exactly what we were doing at all times. We admitted to each other that we did not know how we were going to work on it, so we started at the beginning and filmed all those intimate scenes in one week. I see film-making as a process of solving problems, one at a time." One problem could have been that Rylance clearly had to become aroused. To be blunt: did Fox? "I don't know," she says. "As in all acting, you are using different parts of yourself. If I do scenes where I feel, 'I really felt that and all the emotions,' then it is usually crap. It's indulgent, it's slow and it's wishy-washy. So if I want an audience to respond, I store up the emotions, and it is almost as if I have gone beyond feeling it myself." So, did she enjoy the sex scenes, and was she attracted to her co-star? "That is a very complicated question," she responds. "I think as a piece of work, the film gave me a huge sense of satisfaction, because I felt I was pushed and able to perform well. So on that level, absolutely. I was working at such an extreme pitch, and what I enjoy most in my life is acting." Did Rylance have an orgasm at any point? "That's a question you'd have to ask Mark." See more »
You know when you're with someone there's only a very short time when you can really give each other things for free... with neither of you having to ask. Because later on all you do is make demands of each other. Perhaps the only difference between her and all the rest is that she's asking you for nothing.
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Fully uncut version runs 122 minutes and includes a graphic scene of oral sex that was cut in most releases. See more »
'Intimacy' is a very well acted drama, set in London. Jay has left his wife and son a year ago, and lives a disordered life, working as a barman, and carrying some ambiguous relationships with a couple of friends. He meets weekly a woman, Claire, with which he has a pure sexual affair, without any communication, a la 'Last Tango in Paris'. Things start to go wrong in this affair, when apparently involved he follows and finds out the background of the woman, and befriends her husband and young son.
The film is not easy, and sometimes the border between complexity and confusion is crossed. However, the acting is so good that the characters are just alive. Life is confusing as well many times, after all.
The film has many explicit sex scenes, and they have their place in the story line. This film is to a big extend about communication, and sex is the main way of communication between Jay and Claire for much of the film. Will this be enough to sustain their relationship? Well, go and see the movie and you will find out.
8/10 on my personal scale.
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