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Jan 9

Bitter Moon

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 in On the box

The Accidental Terrorist has this metrosexual friend who on the surface seems well ‘ard, until he opens his mouth or confesses his favourite film.  He loaned the latter to us last week, and told TAT to ignore the blurb and promise to watch the whole thing in its entirety.  TAT seemed unimpressed but resolved to try.


The film was ‘Bitter Moon’, a film from 1992, directed by Roman Polanski (Name sounds familiar?  He also directed The Pianist, Ninth Gate and Rosemary’s Baby *oh right, him!*), starring Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner (Polanski’s missus!) and Peter Coyote (the mean scientist guy from E.T.).

What do you mean you can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet?!  Shut up.

Whoa.  What a film.  It almost fell victim to the halfway-through *lets just turn this shite off and watch something else* syndrome, had it not been for TAT’s promise to his friend, for the story build-up was looking decidedly chick-flickish.

It is, however, not necessarily chickflickish at all, unless you are a woman who likes to watch YOP being licked from a pair of diddies over breakfast.  It is full-on sexual exploration down every alley you could think of (‘scuse the pun) without being a pornographic flick. 

Do. Not. Watch. This. Film. With. Your. Parents.

(Or with a new boyfriend, or a prim cousin, or a neighbour with a beard.)

A prim English couple (Grant and Scott-Thomas) are trying to put the zing back into their static love life on a romantic cruise.  Grant meets Coyote, who plays a disturbingly creepy man in a wheelchair, a writer with an apparent love for both the sound of his own voice, and the bounds of the sexual imagination.  He is accompanied by a very intriguing but distant French wife.  Their story unfolds, a story which is wild with passion and experimentation at first – as is the case with most new couples – then develops into a story of manipulation, cruelty and poetic come-uppance.

This film will make you cringe.  It will make you want to throw yoghurt at the t.v.  It will make you want to throw your hands in the air and shout “BUT WHY?!?!?”  It will make bile rise in your throat and it will give you a stiffy, all at the same time.  You will not have seen everything until you’ve seen this film.

Just remember what I told you about not watching it with your parents.


Bring on the comments

  1. Yep, saw it many, err, moons ago. Man what a gimp HGs character is. It is a definitely an exploration of some of the darker aspects of human nature, Tom Coyote’s character is a right bollox and gets his just deserts. Bit more on Polanski, his first wife (Sharon Tate) was murdered by Charles Manson and his “family” in the infamous helter skelter incident. She was (I believe) 8 months pregnant. I’d say Mr. Polanski’s view of humanity might have been coloured by this horrific incident. Mind you he had to flee the US for statutory rape (with the help of drugs) 8 years later, so he’s not a nice chappie either. Moving away from Polanski, if you liked that film, try The last Seduction. More of a film noir, but with a similar tone, also not one to watch with the parents.

  2. JackMcMad says:

    I’d always be wary of directors who portray their own partners in such a way. It just sreams of ‘Look who I get into bed with everynight. Aren’t I lucky?’ John Derek falls into that category also, but is no where near the same calibre of director as Polanski. I’ll reiterate Thrift’s suggestion about The Last Seduction. Linda Fiorentino is fantastic as the superbitch, bordering on sociopath, femme fatale.

  3. Granny says:

    Can we borrow the film? You can watch it with us.

    P.S. What’s a ‘stiffy’?

  4. Baino says:

    Ah . . haven’t seen it and can’t believe I haven’t seen it. I thought I’d been through Blockbuster’s entire video cattle dog. Although it stars Hugh Grant who is as charismatic as a spoon. I know Polanski is a twisted dude but he’s a wonderful flim-maker. I love his films ever since I saw his version of Macbeth as a teen.

    Does the stiffy come with a man attached? That would be great!

  5. K8 says:

    Thriftcriminal; Polanski sounds a bit metal alright, though the information on his charges is very vague on all the sites, it appears to be more gossip than anything else.
    Last Seduction- sounds familiar, I’ll look her up!

    JackMcMad; Eurotrash directors can get away with that sort of behaviour though. It’s avant-garde. Even if he is Russian.
    I like yer wan as an actress, Men in Black, Dogma… can’t wait to see this flick now.

    Mar; You can watch it with TAT’s metrosexual friend! He took a fancy to you on Christmas day ;)

    Baino; I still haven’t seen that mental sheep film you recommended! I think this film might actually put you off men for a bit.

  6. Medbh says:

    “The Last Seduction” is a fabulous neo-noir.
    Tell me why I should watch “Bitter Moon” again? It sounds terrible. I love “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Pianist” but I think Polanski is a piece of shit as a human being.

  7. Granny says:

    You have made my day, K8.

    From the hairy to the sublime!

  8. K8 says:

    Medbh; There’s no saying why you should or shouldn’t watch the film really, as I still haven’t decided whether it’s good or bad.
    It’s kind of like walking behind someone with their skirt hitched up into their knickers. You know you shouldn’t find it entertaining but you still do. Y’know?

    Mam; Yuck! That’s all I ever want to hear about that. FYI he keeps a mattress in the back of that van!

  9. Granny says:

    BUT…. You never told me what a Stiffy is? Is it like a double vodka? And would he give me one in the back of the van?

  10. K8 says:

    Umm… can I plead the fifth?

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