The Intruder (1999)

The Intruder Links


Official site


Charlotte Gainsbourg


Trailer (French subtitles)

John Hannah plays:  Charlie, a mathematician and computer expert friend of Nick's
Click here for pictures from The Intruder
Summary:  Catherine (Charlotte Gainsbourg - right) and Nick Girard (Charles Powell) meet at an art gallery and are later married.  She moves into the apartment where he and his first wife Stella (Marianne Therien) had lived until she was murdered there two years ago.  Upstairs is Nick's friend Charlie (John Hannah), a mathematician and computer expert who is "exploring the possibilities of two time frames co-existing, of the past and present sharing the same space".  Downstairs is Badge (Nastassja Kinski), the mysterious art dealer with whom Nick had been involved in the past.  We are also introduced to Catherine's friend Daisy (Molly Parker) and the creepy maintenance man who seems to be able to get into any room in the building. 
After having lived there for a while, Catherine begins to notice that things are out of place.  She sees the reflection of a woman in the mirror, her dress is mysteriously shredded, and she discovers a strange woman's hair in her hairbrush and lipstick on a wine glass.  At first, she suspects that her husband is having an affair or that someone is breaking into the apartment to scare her.  However, Charlie's research into quantum mechanics and the discovery of Stella's recently updated diary reveal that Stella may still be in the apartment.  As the official site says, "Could past and present be merging, or is there a logical explanation after all?"

My thoughts:  I thought the book (The Intruder, by Brooke Leimas) was rather weak, but it did have some advantages over the movie.  The movie was, in some cases, hard to follow.  It was a little distracting that there were a lot of characters (Charlie included) who were played by actors trying to cover up their natural accents - I think Charlie was supposed to be American or Canadian.  I was impressed though, that this was the directing debut of photographer David Bailey.  It was very visually pleasing even though the storyline wasn't as strong.

The Intruder News:  The film was released on video in the US in August 2000.

Last Update:  22 May 2001 by SRAH