Philip Kaufman directs Maria de Medeiros, Fred Ward and Uma Thurman in this period erotic drama involving Anaïs Nin’s sexual and literary awakening when she becomes obsessed with Henry Miller and his young wife.
Pulp Fiction’s Maria de Medeiros is well cast and game as Nin, Fred Ward less so. He was a last minute replacement for Alec Baldwin who, rumour has it, refused to shave his head to accurately play Henry Miller. Fair to say the first ever NC-17 rated release has aged poorly. Not in terms of production values, 1930s Paris is beautifully realised. Yet as a movie, this just plain doesn’t work. It is stilted, directionless, slightly laughable. Yet there is plenty of classy nudity, Uma Thurman beguiling us with a creepy marionette and a surfeit of background dogs. You wouldn’t believe how much this movie delivers on the random canine front. Come for the sex, leave with the dogs.
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