5.9/10
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Holy Smoke (1999)

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While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Julie Hamilton ...
Mum
Sophie Lee ...
Yvonne
...
Robbie
...
Tim
Tim Robertson ...
Dad
George Rafael ...
Yani (as George Mangos)
Kerry Walker ...
Puss
Les Dayman ...
Bill-Bill (as Leslie Dayman)
Samantha Murray ...
Prue
...
Stan (as Austen Tayshus)
Simon Anderson ...
Fabio
...
Eva Martin ...
Devotee
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Storyline

While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent and iron-willed Ruth! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex captive in desert hideaway...young beauty seduced by macho American twice her age. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Holy Smoke!  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,307 (USA) (3 December 1999)

Gross:

$1,758,780 (USA) (7 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ruth lives in Sans Souci, Sydney, Australia. Sans Souci is French for carefree. See more »

Goofs

When at first Ruth is in the middle of a circle of her relatives, she has a jewel in the middle of her forehead. Then the jewel disappears for a while and then reappears for the remainder of the scene. See more »

Quotes

PJ Waters: I was young once, too, and handsome. You'd have been impressed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eisai to tairi mou: Episode #1.2 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Written by Tommie Connor (as T. Connor)
© 1952 Jewel Music/Jewel Music (Australia)
Administered in Australia by the Nightlight Music Group
Performed by Jimmy Boyd
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Holy Smoke deserves is 9.1 rating by filmunlimited readers
2 April 2000 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I chose to see Holy Smoke as I've yet to be disappointed by Jane Campion, Harvey Keitel or Kate Winslet. That hasn't changed. The Campion sisters have written a clever, funny and subtle story of how badly a family can bungle their response when their religion of choice is passed over by one of their own in favour of something they find a little too exotic and scary.

It has discreet moments of parody for observant viewers that shows up the shallowness of valuing one faith tradition over another. On the surface it's a hugely funny portrait of a hypocritical conservative family's farcical efforts to cling to normality when Winslet's character begins to branch out.

Look below the surface of the superb performances (especially Winslet and Keitel) and there are some wry observations about religious bigotry and parental disrespect. Winslet and Keitel bring their usual innate honesty and chutzpah to their roles, creating an intense sexual chemistry that is always under their total control.

While Winslet's is by far the most accurate Australian accent I've heard from a British actor, watch out for Sophie Lee, a very funny genuine article who I hope we'll see again soon. My only criticism is that Pam Grier was not allowed more involvement. I would have liked to have see her role developed far more.

Jane Campion's direction is refreshing as always. She gives us the intense, beautiful harshness of the vast Australian outback as well as zooming in on each character's frailties.

This film seems to have polarised opinions for some reason. Perhaps the subject matter has touched a few nerves or maybe some people have expected a different film. Go with an open mind and you may see the power and subtleties of this film.


38 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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