Bitter Moon


Time Out says

Like Polanski's debut feature Knife in the Water, this is set partly on a boat, and charts the shifts in power between characters performing complex sexual/emotional manoeuvres. Nigel (Grant) and Fiona (Scott-Thomas), a wealthy English couple on a second honeymoon, meet Oscar (Coyote) and Mimi (Seigner) on a Mediterranean cruise. The wheelchair-bound Oscar is determined to regale Nigel with a lurid tale of his awful love for Mimi, and exploits her charms to ensure that Nigel hears the story to its bitter end. Characteristically, Polanski treats this slightly protracted tale of erotic obsession partly as deeply ironic black comedy. But there's also real seriousness in the way the film condenses a whole range of feelings into one crazed, cruel relationship and its effect on another couple, so that it becomes both a grotesque portrait of love's variety and a queasy commentary on the perverse pleasures we derive from the suffering of others. Rich and darkly disturbing, it's also wickedly entertaining.


Release details

139 mins

Cast and crew

Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn
Hugh Grant
Kristin Scott-Thomas
Emmanuelle Seigner
Peter Coyote
Victor Bannerjee
Sophie Patel
Stockard Channing
Patrick Albenque
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