Bitter Moon (1992)

Bitter Moon, Roman Polanski. Soitenly the most Polanski of Polanski’s films. The narrative explores the thin lines that separate love and cruelty, sex and perversion, lust and romance, dedication and manipulation. The visual style is all pumpkin heads and deep focus close-ups, which creates a claustrophobic atmosphere in which the sweaty shenanigans of the main characters become inescapable, then inexorable, if unforgivable. Most of the action takes place either in Paris (in flashback) or on a cruise ship: the visual style renders the city as claustrophobic as the boat: both locations are where the often ugly desires lurking beneath dreams take the place of the dreams themselves. The lead actors embody the characters perfectly: It is the role the smart yet smarmy Peter Coyote was born to play, while Emmanuelle Seigner smoothly moves from ingénue to sexpert to damaged woman to brutal nurse while remaining believable as each.

Here’s the French trailer, with nipples…

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