A review of  Intimacy” by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: **

Rating: Not Rated, but could be NC-17 for graphic sexual scenes

Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes



First things first.  The high-profile sex in “Intimacy” is extremely graphic and not very nice to look at.  No mood lighting, no artfully staged positions or soft music playing in the background.  Just two naked people who meet every Wednesday for a salacious union.

What’s all the fuss about?  Beats me.  Jay (Mark Rylance), a separated father of two, and Claire (Kerry Fox), a married actress, have met and made arrangements (outside the confines of the film) to get together for a weekly tryst.  No strings, nothing personal – just the unrelenting act of coupling.  Ever so slowly (read: maddeningly) their stories begin to unfold.  He has left an unhappy relationship, and is making a name for himself as a bar and restaurant owner.  She is struggling with an amateur acting career and counting on the support of her ever-so-patient husband Andy (Timothy Spall).

Finally, pale emotions get the better of the pair.  Curious about what goes on in the other’s life the remaining six days of the week, they begin to seek clues as to a regular daily routine.  Jay goes so far as to befriend Andy, never revealing that he is intimately acquainted with his wife.

Clunk.  What should have been a deliciously escalating emotional scenario offers nothing but mediocre surface.  Instead of answers, the film continues to pile on the questions, rendering the story frustrating rather than absorbing. Snippets of intrigue reveal themselves too late to salvage the listless storyline.

Up close and personal genitalia is not a pretty picture, and does nothing to further the viewer’s attachment to the frisky leads. Rylance shows a little bit of depth under a lot of bare skin, but Fox’s performance feels stagy.  Based on stories by Londoner Hanif Kureishi, “Intimacy” is better left to the written word.