HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Henry & June Read Any Good Books Lately?
Year: 1990
Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros, Richard E. Grant, Kevin Spacey, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Bruce Myers, Juan Luis Buñuel, Féodor Atkine, Sylvie Huguel, Artus de Penguern, Pierre Étaix, Pierre Edernac, Gaëtan Bloom, Brigitte Lahaie, Gary Oldman
Genre: Sex, Historical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Paris, 1931 and Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) is trying to become a published writer, but finding it more difficult than she anticipated, though she has had plenty of practice jotting in her diary every night to hone her skills. She thinks the best way to get into print is to pen erotica since there is always a market for that, but when she takes her works around the publishers they see her as some kind of loose woman and wish to take advantage of her. She is married to Hugo Guiler (Richard E. Grant) who is a banker, and more enthusiastic about his profession than his wife is which is baffling to him in light of the way it funds her literary ambition, but soon another aspiring writer will enter her life...

He being a certain Henry Miller, played by a rather extraordinary-looking Fred Ward. This was not a sequel to the popular sitcom Terry and June, nor was it a follow-up to David Lynch's Dune, it was in fact a detailing of a time in Paris which has fascinated artistic types for decades, especially when sex was involved in the stories of those days, as it inevitably was in the case of Mr Miller. Here he and Anaïs Nin (who is actually the lead character) had an affair which brought out the best in their respective scribblings, but had a price to pay in their relationships with others, and the most important relationship each had was, according to this, the passion they felt for Henry's wife June, here played by Uma Thurman just at the point in her career when stardom was inevitable.

One snag director Philip Kaufman, into his phase of depicting sexual situations in his drama, suffered was that when Thurman arrived for the shoot she announced she would not be doing nudity in her role, which was going to be an impediment to all those steamy scenes he had dreamt up in his script. He got around it, but once you notice Uma is doing her darnedest not to show anything, or not very much, it does become a distraction and has you pondering whether Kaufman should have gone the Austin Powers route. It would have brightened up a far too protracted experience which less than conveying what it was like to spend time in the presence of these giants of saucy literature, made you think you were on a night out with the nineteen-thirties equivalent of hipsters.

De Medeiros remained sweet and vulnerable, but Henry was a bad influence on Anaïs and soon she is as hard to get on with as he is. Even more distracting than Uma's no nudity clause in her contract was that Ward sported a bald head which looked far from natural, an obvious wig and shaven head combination that would have looked better with a big red nose and painted smile. Alec Baldwin had originally signed on to appear in the role, but two weeks before filming began decided he didn't wish to adopt that look Ward was subsequently saddled with, and you can only say how wise that was, as no matter how accomplished Ward was the fact he looked like Bozo the Clown did him no favours, though in a funny (peculiar) way it might have operated as a commentary on Miller's actual demeanour.

Naturally, in spite of Kaufman's lofty aims for encapsulating the heady times of between the wars Paris, there were always those who would be suspicious he was simply trying to smuggle porn into mainstream cinemas and so it was that in the United States the censors slapped an X certificate on the film; when there were protests, they created a brand new certificate, the NC-17, to remove the stigma of the previous one for efforts of artistic merit that happened to have rumpy-pumpy in them, but nobody was going to swallow that line and the NC-17 turned out to be just as taboo as the old X was. It also built up expectations in this particular instance that it would be wall to wall sauciness, when in fact it was more a rumination over the worth of using real life in writers' work, the experiences and personalities of those around them merely fuel for their professions. Certainly there were sex scenes, two including cult Euro-starlet Brigitte Lahaie, but it was so determined to be respectable and intellectual that the whole thing was stifling, stuffy and failed to convince you of the subject's worth.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2287 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Philip Kaufman  (1936 - )

Level-headed American writer and director who doesn't shy away from challenging material; after award-winning debut Goldstein, he offered superhero spoof Fearless Frank, but it was five years until his movie career really got off the ground. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid was followed by The White Dawn and the script for The Outlaw Josey Wales, and a remake of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers was his first big hit. Then came The Wanderers, The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the controversial Henry & June, Rising Sun, Marquis de Sade drama Quills and thriller Twisted. He also contributed to the story of Raiders of the Lost Ark; considering his talent, it's surprising how few films he has directed.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: