7.2/10
33,023
117 user 76 critic

Bitter Moon (1992)

After hearing stories of her, a passenger on a cruise ship develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic's wife.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Pascal Bruckner (novel), Roman Polanski (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,953 ( 6)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Coyote ... Oscar
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Mimi
Hugh Grant ... Nigel
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Fiona
Victor Banerjee ... Mr. Singh
Sophie Patel Sophie Patel ... Amrita Singh
Patrick Albenque ... Steward
Smilja Mihailovitch Smilja Mihailovitch ... Bridge Player
Leo Eckmann Leo Eckmann ... Bridge Player
Luca Vellani Luca Vellani ... Dado
Richard Dieux Richard Dieux ... Partygoer
Danny Wuyts Danny Wuyts ... Bandleader (as Danny Garcy)
Daniel Dhubert Daniel Dhubert ... Bus Inspector
Nathalie Galán Nathalie Galán ... Girl in Boutique (as Nathalie Galan)
Eric Gonzales Eric Gonzales ... Cook
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Storyline

British couple Fiona (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) and Nigel (Hugh Grant) 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 (Peter Coyote), 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 several visits to Oscar's cabin. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Haß kann nur gedeihen, wo Liebe ist... [Hatred can only develop when there is love...] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bitter Moon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,997, 20 March 1994

Gross USA:

$1,862,805

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,862,805
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in part aboard the M.T.S. Odysseus, a cruise ship of Greece's Epirotiki Line. First launched in 1961 as the Princesa Isabel, Odysseus ended her career as the Lucky Star, a casino ship based out of Singapore. She was scrapped in Alang, India in April 2008, some 16 years after her appearance in Bitter Moon. See more »

Goofs

At about 1:49 when Mimi takes off her shoes and Oscar has wet himself, the position of the visible shoe on the floor varies between shots (points 180 degrees the other way). 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

Hello
Written by Lionel Richie
Performed by Danny Wuyts (as Danny Garcy)
Under Licence from Brockman Music
See more »

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User Reviews

An unsung masterpiece
7 August 2006 | by tieman64See all my reviews

Few critics took this film seriously when it was released, but it's now steadily beginning to garner attention. Today it ranks as one of Polanski's best.

"Bitter Moon" is a powerful film about love, and to view it as a sort of a soft-core titillation exercise by Polanski is to miss the point. The up-front sexuality of the film is there, not to merely provoke a cheap arousal from the viewer, but to point out how empty and hollow the couple's relationship really is. Most men will empathise with the morality (or lack of) in this confused relationship between an older man obsessed with his sexual object, and her adoration for him. The haunting reality is that for so many, the lack of depth in a relationship is frightening once the sexual desire diminishes.

9/10 - Filed with lush cinematography and romantic Parisian architecture, the film's only flaw is its Hugh Grant subplot. Everything else is electric, with a dark playfulness that only Polanski can deliver. Worth several viewings.

Note: Peter Coyote's room number, 5A, is the same as Tom Cruise's apartment from "Eyes Wide Shut". Both films have similar themes. When "Eyes Wide Shut" was released, Polanski made "The Ninth Gate", a film which features an "Eyes Wide Shut" styled ritual. Both films are similar in tone.


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