Ah, Roman

Remember, this is the movie's healthy relationshipSometimes the universe just can’t help itself.

Two days ago, Marina Zenovich’s “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” came out on DVD, just days after the latest flurry of activity in the exiled director’s ongoing attempt to get himself cleared to return to the United States without being thrown into jail on that whole skipping-town thing.

And today, over at the Onion AV Club, Scott Tobias confronts one of Polanski’s thorniest, weirdest pictures, “Bitter Moon“, in his latest column exploring The New Cult Canon.

Now, at first blush, I would have gone with “The Ninth Gate” as Polanski’s key cult venture, myself. (It has the robes and everything!) But despite a nicely twitchy performance from Johnny Depp and a swell supporting turn from Frank Langella, “The Ninth Gate” doesn’t stick in the mind the way “Bitter Moon” does.

Also, “Bitter Moon” has Kristin Scott-Thomas and Hugh Grant as the unsuspecting couple sucked into Peter Coyote and Emmanuelle Seigner’s twisted world, and there’s something perverse and discomfiting about seeing Grant and Scott-Thomas as a couple, despite their obvious comfort with each other (and the echoes of their non-pairing in “Four Weddings and a Funeral”).

Also also, the movie is deeply weird. Like, weirder than you remember. Even if you’ve just seen it recently.

So, you know, if you find yourself snowed in this weekend … well, why not revisit the freaks? Not every movie has to be “The Pianist”, y’know.

5 thoughts on “Ah, Roman”

  1. I know for a fact that I saw Bitter Moon during its theatrical release, but I’ll be damned if I can remember ANYTHING about it. I’m really quite surprised to hear that Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott-Thomas were in it, because I don’t remember that at all. Weird…

  2. I saw Bitter Moon on release on a peculiarity: a cinematic showing in St. Catharines, of all places.

    It really didn’t hit me until a week or two later. I was married at the time. A colleague in a similar situation to mine saw it at my request – I revealed nothing – and it had the same effect on her.

    Just like when I dispatched her to what I think is Scorsese’s greatest film, his adaptation of “Age of Innocence”. There’s a scene in which Newland Archer realizes how all his problems can be solved. I didn’t tell my colleague about it, but it was the first thing she said to me the same day.

    I left my marriage that year. She’s still hard at it… tempestuously, at times, but committed.

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