Heard about this film and was intrigued by the premise, plus I like Hitchcockian-style thrillers. While I was indifferent to the explicit sex and nudity, and for all its hype, this is not porn: there is no actual anal penetration shown (though admittedly if the actors were actually engaged in real sex, it's still shot like a simulation), one shot of actual fellatio, and a brief shot (no pun intended) of an ejaculation. Being a French (European) film, there is copious amounts of full-frontal male nudity, but it's handled within the context of the story: young gay man hangs out at a beach on a mountain lake - a well-known (in the stort) hangout and cruising spot for gay men -- I'm assuming it's also a public park -- where he meets a handsome stranger who may or may not be a murderer. While hanging out, he and his various friends and acquaintances sunbathe and swim in the nude, though one character admits it's technically illegal, and there is apparently a more "family-friendly" beach on the other side of the lake where one man says you can meet women. Though of course, our protagonist here, named Franck, is definitely not interested in them. One thing I found did find interesting is the casual approach to the nudity - only the mysterious stranger, named Michel, is of the muscular, gym-rat type - the other men have normal, everyday flabby or scrawny bodies, which gives a realistic feel to the place. Had this been an American movie, all of the men would have been drop-dead handsome with washboard abs and bubble butts and "manscaped" body hair (if any), and porn-star sized penises. Even a gay indie movie would have casted them all as Adonises.
As always with a foreign-language film, the subtitles can be intrusive, and in English translation, the dialogue seems stilted and dry. Perhaps the director (who also wrote it) wanted it to sound like real conversation, but you don't really find too much out other than Franck is trying to be nice to a chubby divorcee, but always turns him down when asked out of a date. The object of his obsession, Michel, has no problem having sexual trysts with Franck in the woods (where a lot of anonymous gay sex is occurring), but turns down Franck's offers of a date or going back to his place. The impression I got was the stranger's character was closeted (perhaps even in a hetero relationship) and didn't want to expose his secrets. Over the course of the movie, one of Michel's ofrmer sex partners - who has a negative run-in with Franck early in the movie winds up dead - drowned in the lake. A police investigation ensues, and the detective questions the two but they lie and say they didn't really know the deceased. At this point, paranoia sets in for Franck who seems to question Michel's motives, But at the end, after a larger tragedy occurs, it is not clear who may have been the killer after all. Maybe I need to re-watch it again. It does look like one of those movies that you may learn more upon multiple viewings.
So, to summarize: a beautifully shot erotic thriller, but one that falls short from it's inherent plotline. Interestingly, the director/write never leaves the lake to show the characters at "home." Each new day at the beach on the lake opens with a shot of Franck driving his car into the parking area and walking to the lake. The only thing that changes are clothing and the dwindling number of guys going to the lake (not being killed off, but probably scared off/turned off by the idea that someone died). Take away the gay sex and nudity, it's essentially a short narrative film about the dangers of cruising for sex and meeting strangers for one-night (or one-day) stands. At least the plot is linear, unlike say the recent "Ghost Story" film or the classic "Rashomon."