Released in German theaters on June 7, Patrice Chéreau's film – winner of the 2001 Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival – has continued to charm German audiences and critics alike.
The psychological depth and the intensity of the emotions portrayed in the film first of all made a strong impact on the German press: "An absolutely brilliant psychological study: thumbs up!" (TV Spielfilm); "'Intimacy': on the borderline between pure passion and true love" (Journal für die Frau); "A film that – without restraint – stirs what is most intimate in us: our souls"(TZ); "A sensitive statement about loveless passion: cold, sending a shiver down our spines, but honest in the extreme" (Hamburger Morgenpost).
The performances in the film have earned high praise all round: "Kerry Fox and Mark Rylance show us the beauty of love in staggering images... the erotic magic that emerges in the film has a dazzling effect (Berliner Kurier); "The film has the courage to be provocative, with two first-rate actors – a drama full of melancholy and deeply moving" (Hörzu").
And finally, it is the originality of Patrice Chéreau's treatment of the subject that has touched the hearts of our neighbors across the Rhine: "An unusual masterpiece, frank, intense, desperate and yet full of hope (Treffpunkt Kino); "Chéreau has discovered and rediscovered physical love for the cinema: in a way that stuns us, irritates us, and that expresses profound meaning" (Süddeutsche Zeitung); "A marvelous and desperate aria about the impossibility of happiness... Chéreau talks insistently – and to excess – of desire, impulses, and the physical so as to do justice to the human being as an entity (Der Spiegel); "'Intimacy' takes us by surprise as a drama dealing with lost souls in a big city, searching for warmth and dignity (Berliner Zeitung).
As regards the public's reaction to the film, "Intimacy" has well and truly won over German audiences. Just four days after its release in theaters (on June 7), over 50,000 German moviegoers had already made their way to the 63 theaters screening the film. The film has taken 5th place at the German box office, surrounded by American blockbusters: proof of an infatuation for European cinema very seldom seen in Germany.