Bitter Moon

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Aboard a Mediterranean cruise ship, English couple Nigel (Hugh Grant) and Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) meet American Oscar (Peter Coyote), an unpublished writer. Confined to a wheel chair, Oscar has a French wife, Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner). Oscar notices Nigel's interest in Mimi, a sensual dancer. He invites Nigel to his cabin and proceeds to tell the story of meeting Mimi. The story is sexually graphic and at first repels Nigel. Nevertheless, he returns each day to hear more of the story. Nigel learns that Mimi, in revenge for his treatment of her, caused Oscar's paralysis but now takes care of him. At the end of Oscar's story, Nigel attempts to have an affair with Mimi, but it is Fiona who holds the surprises. This two- hour-plus depressing film of a couple's relationship and varied sexual activities only creates an urge to leave early.

Nigel and Fiona have marital problems they hope to resolve on the cruise which will take them to India to seek "wisdom" in India's religious teachings. Nigel's desire for Mimi is magnified by Oscar's graphic stories of their sexual activities. Through flashbacks, we learn that Oscar insisted that Mimi have an abortion and then abandoned her. When he winds up in a hospital after being hit by a bus, Mimi visits him in the hospital, pulls him out of bed, breaking his back. Mimi then plans to care for him, and treats him badly, even having sex with other men, knowing Oscar can only watch. As if all these lurid details aren't enough to demand your money back, Mimi and Fiona develop a lesbian relationship. They are in bed together when Oscar shoots Mimi and commits suicide in front of Nigel. Breast nudity, rear nudity (both genders), along with excessive profanity, obscene and crude language add to the offensiveness. This is a film to definitely avoid. It too should have an NC-17 rating.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Fine Line Cinema, 575 8th Avenue, 16th Flr, NY, NY 10018

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 4, Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (22) times (f-word 12, s-word 4, other 6)

Profanity: Many (21) times - Regular

Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (slap; hit with fist; man pulled out of hospital bed; needle stuck in leg; graphic gun suicide)

Sex: Several times (graphic with and without nudity and implied by sound, also unconventional acts)

Nudity: Many times (breast and rear male and female)Near Nudity: Several times (women in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (graphic discussions, woman cuts man's clothes off)

Drugs: Cigarette smoking and social alcohol drinking

Other: Abortion referred to; vomiting; adulterous affairs condoned

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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