The Serpent's Kiss

  • Film
  • Period and swashbuckler films
A misbegotten attempt to ring changes on the British costume drama, former cameraman Rousselot's directorial debut tells of a landscape gardener (McGregor) tumbling into a snake's pit of deceit and deadly intrigue when he agrees to create a new estate for wealthy landowner Postlethwaite and his wife Scacchi. The film founders on stilted performances (Grant's death throes are spectacularly risible), conspicuously artificial set design, and dialogue - half 'literary', half colloquially contemporary (including inappropriate modern profanities) - that makes much of supposedly sophisticated metaphor but barely makes sense. And there's another problem: it's all too clearly derivative of The Draughtsman's Contract, comparison with which only makes Tim Rose Price's screenplay seem even worse.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Philippe Rousselot
Screenwriter: Tim Rose Price
Cast: Ewan McGregor
Greta Scacchi
Pete Postlethwaite
Richard E Grant
Carmen Chaplin
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