January 02, 2014

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Stranger by the Lake (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Alain Guiraudie
Country: France

Movie Review: Set in the summer, somewhere in the south French coast, “Stranger by the Lake” starts with some establishing shots that transport us to isolated lakeshores outlined by woods, frequented exclusively by male gays and nudism enthusiasts. Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) arrives for the first time that year, and in his talkative way, makes conversation with the quiet and isolated Henri (Patrick d'Assumçao), a bi-sexual lumberjack who passes his days gazing the calm waters of the lake, completely uninterested in sex, in opposition to the rest of the bathers. The men became good friends, but Franck, clearly looking for a sexual partner, falls in love with Michel (Christophe Paou), a mysterious, jealous, and dangerous man who murdered his former partner in the lake at nightfall. Franck was the only witness of the crime and despite knowing what he was getting in, couldn’t refrain his sexual impulses. Even wasting time with unnecessary explicit sex scenes (its only, yet considerable setback), which didn’t add anything beneficial to the story, “Stranger by the Lake” was able to effectively bring together suspenseful moments and an interesting psychological side. Alain Guiraudie’s outstanding direction was awarded at Cannes, well backed up by Claire Mathon’s admirable photography. The entrancing, much chilling finale will leave you thinking about the triumph of desire over moral, making us expecting eagerly Guiraudie’s next move.

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