Despite Nigel and Fiona’s longing for an erotic reawakening in an exotic setting – their eventual destination is India – Oscar’s florid account of the transgressive passions and humiliations that fuel his co-dependent relationship with Mimi leaves Hugh Grant’s pent-up Englishman squirming (even as Nigel conspires to meet with Mimi privately). “Everyone has a sadistic streak”, Oscar ruefully muses; a point that isn’t lost on him when an unexpected reversal of fortune allows Mimi to re-assert her dominance. Sidelined for a time by sea-sickness, Fiona finally enters the fray to get her own back on her infatuated husband.
In Polanski’s first collaboration with Tonino Delli Colli, the master Italian cinematographer suffuses the film’s studio interiors and Paris locations with a shimmering patina that heightens the, by turns, sensual and farcical elements of Polanski’s blackly comic erotic thriller.
18 Nov - 20 Nov
Stuck-in-a-rut English couple Nigel (Hugh Grant) and Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) are on a Mediterranean cruise bound for Istanbul when they encounter a voluptuous French woman, Mimi (Emmaneulle Seigner) and her wheelchair-bound American husband, Oscar (Peter Coyote), a failed if apparently independently wealthy author. Too polite to extricate himself, Nigel finds himself captive to Oscar’s increasingly salacious retelling of his and Mimi’s romantic history.