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43. Lunes de Fiel
Bitter Moon

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This is the story of a mutual love that is so strong that it destroys those it touches. As the film begins we see images of the sea through a port-hole of a cruise liner. We see the surface and perhaps we are invited to ponder the hidden depths of the Mediterranean, Homer's wine dark sea. Much lies hidden below the beautiful surface.

We are introduced to Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Nigel (Hugh Grant), yound British newly weds who are cruising towards India. Both actors are perfectly cast - doing exactly what they do best. She a direct upper-middle class gal and he a daffy upper middle-class Nigel.

They help a French girl Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner) who is sea-sick.. Later, Nigel finds her at the bar; and tries to chat up, but she is not playing. As Nigel returns to his wife, he is approached by Oscar (Peter Coyote), a man in a wheelchair, who needs a hand to get to his cabin.

Oscar turns out to be Mimi's husband. He invites Nigel into his cabin for a drink and Nigel accepts. Oscar tells him about how he fell in love with Mimi. In flashback we see him wooing her. Oscar's love for her is intense. As he says "Nothing ever surpass the rapture of that first awakening. I might have been Adam with the taste of apple fresh in my mouth. I was looking at all the beauty in the world embodied in a single female form ..."

As the film develops we see Mimi flirting with Nigel but repeatedly rejecting his advances - she is worldly and self-confident - he is innocent and tentative. Fiona becomes aware of his infatuation. So does Oscar, a hard bitten American, who entices the helpless Nigel with tales of Mimi.

The story is told by Oscare in installments, each triggering a flashback. set in Paris. We see Mimi, almost painfully sexy, even at breakfast. Especially at breakfast, to the accompanyment of George Michael's song Faith.. She loves to dance and performs wonderful erotic dances for Oscar.

As the story progresses each flashback installment becomes increasingly dark. Oscar's love for Mimi turns sour, and her love for him turns even more sour. Each terrible turn of the the downward spiral of sex and sexual manipulation. The story goes from happy and erotic to truly grim. Oscar and Mimi behave so badly to each other not because they dislike each other but because they love each other so intensely. As Oscar observes "It's no fun hurting someone who means nothing to you".

This is an unfamiliar world for Nigel whose own world is polite and whose love is shallow and conventional. He is horrified but transfixed. Like the Ancient Mariner he cannot chose but hear as the tale gets ever deeper and darker.

The denoument comes after a shipboard New Year's Eve party, Nigel attempts to dance with Mimi, and Oscar seems to encourage him, but Fiona is not impressed. For her the p[arty is over. After a surprise twist, Mimi and Oscar's maelstrom spiral finally reaches the bottom .

All of the four principal actors are fantastic. So is the script. Some of the lines chill your very soul, as when Mimi exolains why she no longer dances.

This film is highly recommended for those who like their stories exceptionally dark - and perhaps those engaged in a mutually destructive relationship.

Stockard Channing appears briefly in an uncredited role (Beverly), a literary agent who criticizes Oscar's affecting the persona of an American writer in Paris as passé and unmarketable.

The film is known in French as Lunes de fiel (a pun on "Lune de Miel", meaning 'Honeymoon') .

The script was inspired by a book of the same name, written by the French author Pascal Bruckner.

The score was composed by Vangelis.

In real life Emmanuelle Seigner is married to Roman Polanski







Sado-masichistic Erotic Drama

Directed by

Roman Polanski

Produced by

Robert Benmussa,executive producer
Roman Polanski,producer
Alain Sarde,co-producer
Timothy Burrill,co-producer (uncredited)

Written by

Gérard Brach screenplay
John Brownjohn screenplay
Roman Polanski screenplay
Pascal Bruckner novel "Lunes de Fiel"
Jeff Gross script collaboration


Hugh Grant
Emmanuelle Seigner
Kristin Scott Thomas
Peter Coyote

Music by

Tonino Delli Colli

Music by


Release date


Running time

138 min.




English with some French




Hugh Grant


Kristin Scott Thomas


Emmanuelle Seigner


Peter Coyote


Victor Banerjee

Mr. Singh

Sophie Patel

Amrita Singh

Patrick Albenque


Smilja Mihailovitch

Bridge Player

Leo Eckmann

Bridge Player

Luca Vellani


Richard Dieux


Danny Wuyts

Bandleader (as Danny Garcy)

Daniel Dhubert

Bus Inspector

Nathalie Galán

Girl in Boutique (as Nathalie Galan)

Eric Gonzales


Jim Adhi Limas

Thai Maître D' (as Jim-Adhi Limas)

Boris Bergman

Oscar's Friend

Olivia Brunaux


Heavon Grant




Geoffrey Carey

Neighbour with Dog

Robert Benmussa

Flight Dispatcher

Claire Lopez


Shannon Finnegan


Frédérique Lopez

Brunette (as Frederique Lopez)

Ysé Tran

Eurasian Girl (as Yse Marguerite Tran)

Claude Bonne


Hugh Grant
Emmanuelle Seigner
Peter Coyote
Kristin Scott Thomas
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