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Bitter Moon (1992)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,141 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 43 critic

British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's ... See full summary »

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Title: Bitter Moon (1992)

Bitter Moon (1992) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Mr. Singh
Sophie Patel ...
Amrita Singh
Patrick Albenque ...
Steward
Smilja Mihailovitch ...
Bridge Player
Leo Eckmann ...
Bridge Player
Luca Vellani ...
Dado
Richard Dieux ...
Partygoer
Danny Wuyts ...
Bandleader (as Danny Garcy)
Daniel Dhubert ...
Bus Inspector
Nathalie Galán ...
Girl in Boutique (as Nathalie Galan)
Eric Gonzales ...
Cook
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Storyline

British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's bar. Later he meets her crippled American husband Oscar, who tells him their story. While living in Paris for several years trying to be a writer, he becomes obsessed with a woman he met by chance on a bus. He tracks her down and they start a steamy love affair. Soon Oscar finds himself enslaved body and soul by her love, and continues to tell Nigel the details of this relationship in various stages over a number of visits to Oscar's cabin. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wheelchair | love | abuse | ship | french | See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for the strong depiction of a perverse sexual relationship | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bitter Moon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,862,805 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based upon Pascal Bruckner's 1981 novel "Lune de fiel" - a pun on "Lune de miel", the French word for "honeymoon". "Lune de fiel" literally means "poison moon". See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Mimi cuts her hair for the first time and bakes a Turkey for Oscar, he is wearing the same turtle necked blue sweater that was ripped off with a razor blade during a previous sex game. See more »

Quotes

Oscar: We were developing a narcotic dependence on television - the marital aid that enables a couple to endure each other, without having to talk.
See more »


Soundtracks

Faith
Written by George Michael
Performed by George Michael
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (France) S.A. /Epic
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Consuming Passions
3 December 1999 | by (NAS Ream Field) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski again explores the depths of the human psyche in Bitter Moon, a magnificent epic tale of obsessive lust and the oh-so-familiar winding course of a passionate romance gone sour.

Bitter Moon centers around a familiar Polanski theme, that we are capable of being both torturer and victim, and usually both simultaneously. For anyone who doubts the validity of much of the past century of French intellectual thought, from the likes of Andre Gide, Foucault, and others, see this movie. For anyone who has been in a painful twisted relationship, see this movie. You will understand it. Some of it might be hard to stomach but that is the nature of truly great filmmaking.

A beautifully crafted movie, almost lyrical at times, Bitter moon is set in contemporary Paris but is told in a series of long complex flashbacks superbly narrated by Oscar (a terrific Peter Coyote) to Nigel (Hugh Grant as the usual British prat), both passengers on a cruise ship to India. Nigel and his wife Fiona, played by Kirsten Scott-Thomas, are on a holiday to enliven a stable but stale marriage. The couples become embroiled through the lurid tale of Oscar and Mimi's (Emmanuelle Seigner) love affair. Emmanuelle, Polanski's real-life wife, is superb and her incredible performance takes her from sumptuous beauty to complete wreck, a performance that deserves far more praise than was received. The lack of attention to her performance in this movie is no doubt due to the notoriety in the puritanical American press of her husband.

As a whole, Bitter Moon may not be Polanski's best film but some periods of the movie represent his very best work. Throughout, limits are pushed to the brink of tastelessness but Polanski masterfully pulls back just in time. The direction is complex and highly sophisticated and the movie arouses a range of emotions from dread to empathy to disgust to hilarity. The story line is far too complicated to synopsize appropriately in this review. Bitter moon is a great film, one of this reviewer's top 10 for the 1990s. Another must see! A word of caution, however, Bitter Moon is not a good date movie.


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