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1,809 Ratings

Bitter Moon

Directed by Roman Polanski
United Kingdom, United States, 1992
Drama, Thriller, Romance


On a cruise, uptight British couple Nigel and Fiona encounter an alluring French woman named Mimi and her wheelchair-bound husband Oscar. As Oscar tells the torrid story of how he and Mimi fell in love, Nigel finds himself increasingly drawn to her, with potentially devastating results…

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Bitter Moon Directed by Roman Polanski
Polanski’s lynchpin is not the curdling of lyricism but the lyricism of curdling, bliss and degradation enlarged so that there’s no space separating them, bridged like farce and tragedy, or the sublime and the ridiculous… A smutty joke for a boring voyage, or the unbridled laying out of the salacious essence of the human soul? The nakedness of the film’s confessions arouses derision in the puritanical, yet the last laugh remains [Polanski’s], with the audience protesting but never leaving.
January 04, 2006
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In 1992’s Bitter Moon, the most perverse and pleasurable of Polanski’s films after Chinatown, a lousy American writer bends the ear of a fellow cruise-ship passenger with the lurid tale of how he ended up in a wheelchair. As seen in flashbacks, the apartment where the writer and his lover play sado-masochistic games is another of Polanski’s confined and highly unsafe environments.
March 25, 2004
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Whereas the hollowing-out of Rosemary Woodhouse as she begins to lose her notions of sanity was in many respects as much self-imposed as it was inflicted upon her by her egotistical husband, Mimi’s devastation is unmistakably the work of Oscar’s cunning and ruthless psychological demolition. In a supremely dark joke, this devastating section of the film (in which Mimi begs Oscar to abuse her) is the most vicious update of the Albee play [Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?].
June 11, 2003
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