A Swiss businessman, rich with property in Japan, is so distraught with grief at his wife's death that his grown son tries to console him by setting up a harem of women, inspired by Fellini's 8∏. (The half-woman introduced into their private bordello, incidentally, is not mutilated but a dwarf - so much for taste!) Cue various liaisons, experiments and emotional intrigues, as Peter Greenaway's lacklustre narrative meanders towards its predictable and banal conclusion. The film's the usual collage of lists, perverse conceits, strange images, arcane allusions and nudity, but far more lazily assembled than previously. The writing is without wit, the pacing clumsy, the 'surrealism' forced and clumsy, the whole pretty pointless. And only Polly Walker gives anything approaching a decent performance.
Cast and crew