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Bitter Moon
Bitter Moon
Actors: Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Peter Coyote, Victor Banerjee
Director: Roman Polanski
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     2hr 19min

Academy Award winning director Roman Polanski explores the sexy side of obsession and the wild side of romance in this outrageous look at the dark side of love. Starring Hugh Grant (About a Boy, Bridget Jones's Diary), Pet...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Peter Coyote, Victor Banerjee
Director: Roman Polanski
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies, Hugh Grant, Love & Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: New Line Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2003
Original Release Date: 03/11/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 03/11/1994
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 19min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Fascinating Erotic Story
David Montgomery | | 05/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Roman Polanski has never been accused of being a timid filmmaker. Over the years, his many movies have been distinguished by their potent subject matter and sure-handed direction. They are certainly not for everyone's taste, but those who like Polanski films tend to like them very much indeed. Bitter Moon is no different. It is one of the most frank and deliciously outrageous films I have seen in a long time.The story begins with a very staid and proper British couple on an ocean voyage. Nigel and Fiona (Hugh Grant and Kristen Scott-Thomas) are hoping to rekindle the faint spark of romance that is left in their marriage. What they get instead is something much more than they bargained for.Almost immediately, they meet Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner), a seductive French femme fatale, and her crippled husband Oscar (Peter Coyote), a failed American writer. Oscar knows that Nigel desires Mimi and he is willing to accommodate him, but first Nigel must listen to the sordid story of their life together.I don't want to give away too many of the details, for the shock of hearing their tale is the best part of the film. It is, at various turns, erotic, outrageous, outlandish, hilarious, titillating and unbelievable. What it is certainly not is boring. As we peek in on their bizarre sex life, first stimulated, then horrified, we are never quite sure what is true and what is fantasy. Against his better judgment, Nigel finds himself drawn into their twisted, little world and the results do not disappoint.It seems that it always takes a European director to make a film such as this one. Americans are far too timid about sexuality to deal with it in an frank and adult manner. You can count on Polanski or Paul Verhoeven or Bertrand Blier to make a film like "Bitter Moon." But what about Spielberg or Scorsese or Coppola? Never. When it comes to films involving violence, American directors can be as bold and explicit as one could ever desire. In stories involving eroticism and sensuality, however, they are sadly lacking.Due to some regrettable incidents in Polanski's past, his films seldom get the respect they deserve in this country. That is unfortunate because his work is generally superb. His 1988 thriller "Frantic," starring Harrison Ford, remains one of the best, most unappreciated films of recent years. "Bitter Moon" was first released in Europe in 1992, but it took two years for it to finally be shown in America. Anyone who ignores this one, though, will be missing a damn fine film."
Seductively Cruel, Sinfully Seductive
Alexander C Boal | Anchorage, AK | 04/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this film years ago, and was immediately amazed at not only it's intensity, but where it deliberately dared to go, both with its storyline and dialogue. When I saw it again years later, I was even more impressed than previously thought. At it's essence, the movie is a love story, set in Paris, between Oscar (Peter Coyote) and Mimi, played by the stunningly beautifull Emmanuelle Seigner. Yet this ititial passion, escalates to a such a lust, that any true feelings they have for each other are overwhelmed by the desire to repeat that initial exeburance. Soon Oscar gets bored with the isolation that Mimi brings, and begins to resent their relationship. While Mimi, despite her threats to the contrary, can no longer live without Oscar, having become too drained emotionally to find love outside of their now passionless affair. What begins next, is the true mettle of this film, and takes it on a different course, one filled with chauvanistic cruelty, and female revenge. All the while, this story is not being played out in real time, but retold, on a cruise ship, to stodgy British pip Hugh Grant, whose uneasiness during the more absurdly erotic scenes extends to the viewer as well. Grant, is on his honeymoon, with his wife Fiona, but due to his immediate attraction to Mimi, spends his days not with his wife, but in the cabin of Oscar. It is there, where he listens, like a voyeur, to the story of Oscar and Mimi in an effort to learn more about his new object of desire, and to parlay that into getting her into bed. What culminates at the end is both shocking and sad, and yet a resolution to the extreme passions of all involved.It is not Roman Polanski's best film, but unlike Chinatown, his most entertaining. This movie does not lose it's luster after a couple of viewings. Recommend it to your friends, and go buy yourself a copy. Not to be missed, by any standard."
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 02/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Bitter Moon is surely not for everyone. It's one of Polanski's audacious ones -- he seemed to be far beyond concern over matters of taste. And Emmanuelle Seigner -- easily the pivot of this bizarre tale -- never seemed miscast in a role as a voracious seductress with black widow tendencies, whose amusement is to blind men in the headlights of her sexuality, and step on the gas. The word "promiscuous" was coined to describe films like this. Like all stories dealing with the extremes of sex, it arrives at moments when we can barely prevent ourselves from laughing (e.g., S&M combines humorless scenarios with absurd choreography.)It is the easiest thing in the world to criticize movies like Bitter Moonshaking one's head wearily and complaining about the director's zany imagination. And of course a lot of it is wretched excess. But Polanski directs it without compromise or apology, and it's a funny thing how so many reviewers may condescend to it, but while they're watching it you could hear a pin drop. An enjoyable one, in a whacky could-they-really-do-that sort of a way."
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C. L Wilson | Elmhurst, Illinois United States | 04/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Absolutely most intense, emotionally, movie I've seen in a long time. Peter Coyote here is fabulous. The woman in this movie is Polanski's wife. It was one terrific flic. Very sexually explicit. This movie just pulls out all stops, hitting every emotional button on the way. Never figured out exactly where it was going. Film essentially about two people who love each other intensely - then it turns to hate, but they can never let go. Ending took a real surprise turn. Kind've sad, as it points out, that for a couple to last, there must be more than sexual fire. There should be respect, companionship, and friendship. Sex can never be all. And Polanski also shows that love and hate are very close. You do not care to hurt someone you are indifferent to."