Intimacy (2001) from Tuna
Intimacy has received a good deal of notoriety over
the explicit and seemingly honest sexuality portrayed by stars Mark
Rylance and Kerry Fox, including an actual blowjob on camera.
The film has won major festival awards, and has been hailed as a
brilliant art film.
|So, was this as hot and explicit as I was led to believe? Far more so. A blow-job, a hand-job, what I think is clear evidence of actual intercourse, and lots of erections, complete with condom.||
| Rylance and Fox received kudos for their
performances as being honest and convincing. I say they weren't acting
at all, but were boning away, not that this is a bad thing. For lovers
of celebrity nudity, in case there are any of you reading, this is
birthday and Christmas rolled into one. Fox is naked through most of the
first hour of the film, and shows every inch of her body, including a
couple of gyno-cam shots. In
addition, Rylance has a sexual encounter with a very talkative Rebecca
Palmer, where she shows breasts, bush and buns. There is plenty of
male nudity from Rylance as well.
I am just a little puzzled as to why this hard core porno is an important art film. Reading reviews by critics may have answered the question, but not in a direct fashion. Roger Ebert found a theme where Rylance hated women because he was a latent homosexual. That is why he divorced his first wife, why he has what Ebert calls brutal sex with Fox, and why he doesn't want to talk to Fox. Interesting, but Fox wanted the anonymity, not Rylance, and even Ebert admits that there is no evidence for his claim in the film, but that he inferred it. Another critic sees the entire film as one of redemption for Rylance, who has hit bottom, and that the squalor of his flat is a metaphor for the mess his soul is in. And so it went... each critic found a new important theme. So why is this an important film, rather than a porno? Perhaps because it is confusing and muddled. It also helps, probably, that much of it is filmed with a shaky-cam, which we all know means either low budget or art film.
|"Does it deserve to be an award winning film?" is the real question. I found the second half very slow, and the characters were not really revealed to my satisfaction. One comment at IMDB calls it Last Tango in Paris meets 9 1/2 Weeks. I see similarities to Last Tango, in that the relationship is purely sexual, but see none of 9 1/2 Weeks in the film. Too much time was spent on minor characters that had nothing to do with advancing the plot, and we didn't really get the motivations of the leads. Expect any US release to be NC-17, unrated, or heavily cut.|
|Scoop's notes: I haven't
seen it, but British audiences and critics were not impressed in the
least. Guardian voters rate it 4.9/10 (less than two stars) , and the
British critics averaged 4.3/10 (about one and a half stars)
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote:
"Chéreau has undoubtedly brought forth fine and intelligent performances from Rylance, Fox, and Spall - as good as anything around. But they are adrift in a film replete with false notes about sex and the city"
The Observer's Philip French added:
" ...embarrasses through its ineptitude rather than because it
touches on dark corners of the soul..."
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