Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Movie review: Raw sex, oblique plot in ‘Stranger by the Lake’
First Published May 01 2014 03:38 pm • Last Updated May 01 2014 03:38 pm

The French thriller "Stranger by the Lake" is an unsettling mix of murder and raw sexuality, with unflinching scenes of coupling paired with moments of weird beauty.

Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) is a young gay man looking for a hookup at a lakeshore that’s a popular cruising spot. He befriends Henri (Patrick D’Assumçao), an older gent dipping his toe in the pickup game, but his eye is really on the tanned and gorgeous Michel (Christophe Paou). When Franck witnesses Michel drowning his current lover (François Labarthe) in the lake one evening, it only increases Franck’s attraction for Michel.

At a glance


‘Stranger by the Lake’

Opens Friday, May 2, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but definitely NC-17 for explicit gay sexuality; in French with subtitles; 101 minutes.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Writer-director Alain Guiraudie creates a slow-boiling thriller built on Franck’s pursuit of desire and his disregard for caution (he doesn’t like condoms, he tells one sex partner, which makes his reckless relationship with Michel an allegory for the AIDS threat).

The movie is explicitly graphic in its sex scenes but maddeningly oblique in its plot structure, and the sexuality that builds tension early ends up being ultimately a distraction.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.