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Bitter Moon

Director: Roman Polanski

France-U.K.| 1992. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 138 mins.


Although not on the same aesthetic level, Bitter Moon prompts an occasional reminder of Bad Timing: like the Nicolas Roeg film, this is an uninhibited study of erotic obsession that makes you feel somewhat apprehensive for the actors—the emotional regions they are required to explore, the histrionic risks they are obliged to take. Normally a sort of diluted Henry Fonda, Peter Coyote lets rip as a wheelchair-bound American writer aboard a Euro-liner who fastens his attention on a yuppie English couple (Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott-Thomas) taking a second honeymoon and regales them with intimate details about his mad love for his young wife (Emmanuelle Seigner).
This is not the first Polanski film to explore sexual games on a watery setting, but it is undoubtedly the weirdest: a sly look, verging on self-parody, at the lineaments of human desire and the kinkiness of strangers.

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