An erotically charged drama from director Patrice Leconte, Confidences Trop Intimes stars Sandrine Bonnaire as Anna, a woman trapped in an abusive relationship who mistakes tax lawyer William (Fabrice Luchini) for a psychoanalyst. Before he can correct her, she's started pouring out her heart to him and he's smitten by her fragile beauty and heart-wrenching story. Described by Leconte as a "sentimental thriller", this urbanely sophisticated French drama delivers more sentiment than thrills but has a hook that'll keep you guessing.
They say opposites attract, but it's hard to imagine two more unlikely actors than Bonnaire and Luchini sharing the screen together. Much like Leconte's delightfully witty last outing L'Homme Du Train, which threw Johnny Hallyday and Jean Rochefort together, the chief pleasure of Confidences Trop Intimes is in watching these two thesps play off each other. By the time Anna discovers that William's happier balancing spreadsheets than reading Freud, it's too late - the unlikely pair are hooked on their platonic talking cure sessions.
As the vaguely neurotic woman with a mean-spirited husband and a complicated sex life, Bonnaire is in sultry mode, languorously smoking cigarettes as she spills intimate details to her taxman therapist. Luchini, meanwhile, is a prim and proper anal retentive, vaguely effeminate yet full of the sly confidence of someone hiding uncharted depths (what else are we to make of his impromptu dance routine to Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour?!).
"BUOYED BY A SIMMERING EROTIC UNDERTOW"
Even by Leconte's airy standards, it's slight filmmaking. Fortunately, it's buoyed by a simmering erotic undertow that recalls the director's earlier film about obsession, The Hairdresser's Husband. Plus there's a fantastic supporting cast, including William's disapproving old battleaxe of a secretary (Hélène Surgère) and a 'real' psychoanalyst (Michel Duchaussoy), who offers him an enigmatic crash course in head shrinking - "Once ajar the door to female mystery is hard to shut again" - while charging him through the nose for the privilege.
In French with English subtitles.