Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Intruder (2005)

I suppose it's significant that the major recurring image in Claire Denis's wispy globe-trotter is that of a tracking shot over the glassy surfaces of bodies of water, since The Intruder never breaks past the surface of anything. Its images are seductive for a while, and its use of recurring tropes (dogs in particular) keeps the mind engaged through the first half. Eventually, though, it becomes clear that Denis is leaning hard on her visuals and telling the story in nonlinear fashion precisely because she didn't have much of a story to tell; maybe she's hoping that, if we're dazzled enough by the pretty pictures, we won't notice that the film isn't about anything, but that trick doesn't generally work on me when Hollywood tries it, so it didn't work here either. There's intimations early on that this could all be the final jumbled thoughts of a man who has died (most notably a preacher at the pulpit intoning, "This is the second death"); if so, I kinda wish he'd died much, much quicker.

Grade: C


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