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Twisted Obsession (1989)

El sueño del mono loco (original title)
American writer in Paris is hired to do a script for an edgy young director he can't stand. When he falls in love with the director's cold and manipulative pretty sister, his life starts to unravel and he realizes that he's been used.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julien Legrand
Malcolm Greene
Liza Walker ...
Jerome Natali ...
Marion Derain
Micky Sébastian ...
Laurent Moussard ...
Student #1
Raúl López Cabello ...
Student #2
Xavier Maly ...
Student #3
Yan Roussell ...
Taxi Driver
Daniel Grimm ...
Marianne's Friend


Dan Gillis, an American screenwriter living in Paris, recently abandoned by his wife, and getting used to his new life as a bachelor while trying to take care of his son, Danny - is commissioned to write a script for a movie called "The Dream of the Mad Monkey". The offer comes from Legrand, a successful producer with whom he has worked in the past, but on this occasion he is being asked to write an unconventional story with Malcolm, a young and unknown film director. Dan is undecided about the offer, seeing it as far from the kind of work he has grown used to, but eventually agrees to do the job despite the reticence of Marilyn, his beautiful disabled agent. As he starts to work on the script, Dan allows himself to become immersed in the closed universe of potentially incestuous relations surrounding Malcolm and his beautiful but emotionally detached young sister Jenny. Dan becomes obsessed with mysterious Jenny and they soon become lovers in a not so conventional way. In his ... Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Mystery | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twisted Obsession  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

A psychological and twisted thriller by Fernando Trueba , concerning a suspenseful web of sexual intrigue
1 June 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

It deals with Daniel Gillis (Jeff Goldblum) , an American screenwriter living in Paris , recently left by his spouse (Anemone) , and getting used to his new life as a bachelor while attempting to take care of his son , Danny who is also attended by an old maid (Asunción Balaguer) . Daniel suffers marital difficulties being exacerbated when he gets involved in an European movie project financed by a Paris-based rich producer (Daniel Ceccaldi) . The offer comes from a wealthy financier named Legrand , but on this occasion he is being asked to write an unconventional flick with Malcolm (Dexter Fletcher) , a young and unknown film director who has only a brief quotation from one of Dan's favourite novels , Peter Pan . Dan is undecided about the offer , seeing it as far from the kind of work he has used to make , but Legrand's insistence and the intrigue personality of the young filmmaker finally convince him to accept the filmmaking despite the reticence of his business agent , Marilyn (Miranda Richardson) , who was initially reluctant , but subsequently changes her opinion and she does him a good deal . Surrounding the project is an eerie cobweb of upsetting happenings , it forces him to search for tracks about the whole business of the making of this film , as he begins writing an avant-garde and almost abstract plot . Later on , his complete existence will be modified as he immerses himself in a twisted relationship with an adolescent Femme Fatale called Jenny (Liza Walker) , Malcolm's 16-year-old sister . In his spellbinding quest , he discovers that he has been conned and betrayed until a thrilling as well as frightening climax .

This strange , dark psychological chiller contains thrills , hallucinatory dream sequences , serpentine plot twists , sexual fantasy , shock effects and builds inexorably to a disturbing , tight finale . This rare film being compellingly shot by Award Winning filmmaker Fernando Trueba , the director of ¨Belle Epoque¨ and including an international all-star-cast . In the film there is a dense tapestry of sexual obsession , relying more on weird atmosphere than in action and clear scenes . It has a complex intrigue in which a screen-writer is caught within a web of greed and ambition from which he will be unable to getaway when takes place infatuation with a young girl ; in fact , this character at the center of which catalyses all the participants' selfish desires . As there happens a closed universe of incestuous relations surrounding Malcolm and his beautiful young sister Jenny , with whom Dan soon becomes obsessed . An agreeable story plenty of intense drama , thrilling moments , and tragic climax . It is a thought-provoking , wistful thriller , hard to watch , and difficult to understand . It is as beautiful filmed as it is written and acted . Director Fernando Trueba , also writes the interesting script along with Manolo Matji based on the novel by Christopher Frank . The cast is frankly well , as Jeff Goldblum as a writer who is commissioned to write a script when he discovers that there is more at stake than just a movie ; Miranda Richardson as his beautiful but disabled agent bounded to wheel-chair ; Daniel Ceccaldi as Legrand , a successful producer with whom he has worked in the past ; Dexter Fletcher as a precocious young English filmmaker who wants to direct a bizarre story in which he has only the flimsiest of outlines ; the androgynous teen played by Liza Walker and Arielle Dombasle as a famous actress . Furthermore , a sinister but colorful cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine , Trueba's ordinary cameraman . Amazing and electrifying original musical score by Antoine Duhamel .

This intelligent though slow motion picture was well and deliberately directed by Fernando Trueba . His first success was Ópera Prima (1980) following the style of the "Madrid comedy". He had major success with ¨Sé Infiel y No mires Quién¨ (1985) also known as : ¨Be Wanton and Tread No Shame¨ , starting a longer collaboration with the producer Andrés Vicente Gómez . He went on directing numerous successes such as ¨Coarse salt¨ , ¨Too Much¨ , ¨Milagro De Candeal¨ , ¨Year of Enlightment¨ , ¨The Girl of Your Dreams¨ , ¨Calle 54¨ , ¨Embrujo De Shanghái¨ , ¨Chico and Rita¨ . Trueba was President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and he received the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Film to ¨Belle Epoque¨ (1992) . His last film was ¨The Artist and the model¨ handled with smooth assurance by Trueba , as usual .

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