5.9/10
3,572
43 user 36 critic

8 ½ Women (1999)

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Standing ... Philip Emmenthal
Matthew Delamere ... Storey Emmenthal
Vivian Wu ... Kito
Annie Shizuka Inoh ... Simato (as Shizuka Inoh)
Barbara Sarafian ... Clothilde
Kirina Mano Kirina Mano ... Mio
Toni Collette ... Griselda / Sister Concordia
Amanda Plummer ... Beryl
Natacha Amal ... Giaconda the Baby Factory
Manna Fujiwara Manna Fujiwara ... Giulietta / Half Woman
Polly Walker ... Palmira
Elizabeth Berrington ... Celeste, Emmenthal Maid
Myriam Muller Myriam Muller ... Marianne, Emmenthal Maid
Don Warrington ... Simon
Claire Johnston ... Amelia, Philip's Wife
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Storyline

After his wife dies, 55-year-old businessman Philip Emmenthal, at the prompting of his playboy son Storey, populates his Geneva villa with eight and a half concubines. Three are from Kyoto, where Storey manages Pachinco palaces. Each has a distinctive personality: a nun, a child bearer, a gambler, a student of Kabuki, a horsewoman with a pet pig, a maid. Philip throws off his strait-laced and repressed attitudes, immersing himself in pleasure. After about a year, the women begin to assert their own power. Side adventures pre-figure the household's breakup, and the women depart in one way or another, one at at time. Philip's fate is in the hands of Palmira, his favorite. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If every man is supposed to think of sex once every nine minutes, what on earth does he think of in the other eight? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue and pervasive nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Netherlands | Luxembourg | Germany

Language:

English | Italian | Japanese | Latin

Release Date:

10 December 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

8 femmes 1/2 See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,000, 28 May 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$417,517, 23 July 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Storey Emmenthal: I love Latin. The grammar, the difficult tenses, the history... but for some reason I was very bad at it, shamefully and blushingly bad at it. In moments of stress the embarrassment of how bad I was at Latin, a subject I loved, really hit me. It was like being laughed at by someone you desperately loved.
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Connections

References Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Sosaku Yoshiwara
(Kabuki music)
Written by Hirokazu Sugiura
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User Reviews

 
a strange but compelling movie about our confused sexual morals
10 January 2000 | by goldeng8See all my reviews

I went to see it because I am fascinated with Japanese culture. Furthermore, I admire mr. Greenaway for the typical British way in which he exposes hypocrisy, yet in a very tasteful manner, and combines this with baroque visuals. I was warned however that it had nothing resembling a coherent story. It might even be boring.

Call me a twisted European, but I actually like "8.5 women", more than "Eyes wide shut"! The characters are indeed to unnatural to empathize with, and the movie will certainly stimulate your mind more than it will entertain you.....or arouse you sexually. The characters find themselves in a loosely connected stream of little scenes. Rather than making normal conversation, everyone seems to say what they think in this stream of sub-consciousness.

Mr. Greenaway plays with all aspects of sex and connects these, often in a disturbing manner, with death, religion, procreation and age and gender roles. He jumps across the cultures and taboos of this globe. Of course you might be offended by the candid way in which these ideas are treated. However, explicit scenes aren't shown. It doesn't need this effect to create a strange but compelling movie about our confused sexual morals on the threshold of a new millennium.


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