Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1990. Universal Pictures, Walrus & Associates, Ministère de la Culture de la Republique Française. Screenplay by Philip Kaufman, Rose Kaufman, based on the book by Anais Nin. Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot. Produced by Peter Kaufman. Music by Mark Adler. Production Design by Guy-Claude Francois. Costume Design by Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle. Film Editing by Dede Allen, Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam, William S. Scharf. Academy Awards 1990.
Sordid, sexy story concerning the relationship between American fiction writer Henry Miller (Fred Ward) and French erotic scribe Anais Nin (Maria de Medeiros). When Miller arrives in Paris with his beautiful wife June (Uma Thurman), he immediately captures Nin’s attention and she befriends them both, her friendship soon turning to more lustful thoughts that result in a menage a trois of the sort you can generally only find on a late-night hotel pay channel. Philippe Rousselot’s cinematography is beautifully ripe, but the screenplay is so flat and all the actors so lifeless that his gorgeous images reveal absolutely nothing more than kinky fetishism over garter belts and torn stockings. Surprisingly enough, this dud is directed by Philip Kaufman, who is usually much more reliable in providing deep, thought-provoking films worth watching. This was among the first films to be given the brand new MPAA rating of NC-17 (no minors admitted), and as such garnered it far more attention than it could ever deserve.