Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars33
3.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 1 October 2006
Much has been said already by other reviewers here, so I'll only add different points of view. I think this is an extra-ordinary cameo of a brief sexual affair between two stangers. If the sex scenes are controversial then I think it's because they are natural and realistic, contrasting with stylised sex in mainstream films. This is a beautiful, sensitive erotic story.

What makes it erotic is the compelling attraction between the two characters - this is done without words and is a strong point in the film, as Jay remarks on several occassions. Their encounters are the stuff of fantasies - anonymous sex. What is really refreshing from a woman's point of view is Jay's strength of feeling and tenderness in the role, performed brilliantly by Mark Rylance. To see a Jay cry in the last scene gives us another insight: a man needing more than sexual gratification - he wants relationship. By the end of the film we know he didn't leave his wife just because their sex life was over it was much more complex than that. As for Claire's role - well women aren't supposed to act like that are they? You know so detached emotionally? This is a brave film that turns gendered stereotypes and behaviour around. Another reason why it is so refreshing.
0Comment|89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 February 2015
This is a film about a man, Jay, who appears to have left a cold and sexless marriage but is now engaged in a 'no strings' relationship that consists only of sex for a few hours on a Wednesday. It is bleak and deeply unsatisfying in many ways but the film is compelling because of the truly astonishing acting of Mark Rylance who makes this deeply flawed character seem almost likeable in his vulnerability. The final scenes where he finally reveals his true feelings about himself and her is worth the entire film for and should be studied by any acting student.

I can't really say I enjoyed the film though (although I was riveted) despite appreciating the fantastic acting of Mark Rylance and Timothy Spall. Marianne Fathfull is merely a bit part actor with shamefully little to do. The sex is not erotic and overly intrusive. The word 'exploitative' springs to mind. I hope the actors were comfortable with it as I would hate to pay for a movie to see something that made them unhappy.

All in all it's 5 stars for the amazing acting and not the direction or the story itself - as that is bleak, slightly depressing but fantastically well acted.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 February 2005
When first approaching this film, I had mixed thoughts on the sort of message it hoped to produce. The graphic sex scenes could have lead me to believe that it was merely a test of controversy that its French director found titillating. Although I was not particularly impressed throughout, when I thought back on it, I realised the many levels that the film communicated on.
For a start, the film is not entirely about the crumbling of a marriage and the desperate search for passion in an otherwise lust less life. I discovered that so much of the film was dedicated to the dissection of the male ego. The constant Oedipal complexities that are present, help enhance the message about the power that the archetypal male craves. Our protagonist 'Jay' is a scared middle-aged man, weakened by the failure of his marriage and his in-ability to satisfy sexually. He struggles to hold on to false feelings of power in his work place (A good example of his inferiority occurs when his barman undermines him.)
His Wednesday activities with cheating wife and mother Jane, are deliberately shot to depict the unglamorous truth behind loveless sex. Jane's husband (brilliantly portrayed by Timothy Spall) serves as a good example of a man who has been stripped of his power and therefore lost meaning in his routine life of denial. The best scene in the film comes when Jay admits the adultery in code, whilst complaining about his bitter life, over a macho game of pool. Definitely a compelling film. Anyone studying Psychology or film studies would surely benefit.
11 comment|64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 November 2004
When I went to see that movie, I was a bit afraid of the sex scenes talked about in all media after this film had been awarded two Golden Bears, the highest awards of Berlin film festival (I prefer to watch films that got awards)...
What I then saw were two white bodies, moving together like Rodin's sculptures beautifully united in their dance of desire...There was no artificial smiles or styled muscles, natural true sex with sweating and sounds of exercise, and the relief afterwards, tenderness, not many words were exchanged ...
It was a film tremendously moving for the truth it showed, starting with the sex on the floor, pictures of the protagonist Jay smoking on the toilet in a bathroom filled with fungi (men usually do not clean up, that is so real)..
Reality without cosmetic everywhere: the brown, grey blocks of London suburbs, Jay's friend Victor, a sweating alcoholic wearing a moist but elegant jacket, wonderfully realistically played, too, Claire, in contrast to her type wearing once elegant black much too expensive underwear, which highlighted the image of her being a bad actress..(she played that role wonderfully, showing how good she really is..)..
Mark Rylance was superb in showing so much vulnerability, having had to leave the family, the boys he very much loved, the wife he still waited to show him something more than just detest(there is a rather naturalistic masturbation scene, after his wife had turned away from him in bed sleeping like their dead relationship..)...So much following, a great playing Marianne Faithful, Timothy Spall wonderful, all these naturalistic characters at the Pub or at the actors school...
I can watch that film on and on and still discover new things all the time....Wished that everybody could get so much from it!
11 comment|73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 October 2014
I have watched this film four times already and will watch it again soon. Mark Rylance is gorgeous, such a brilliant actor and what a body!! The story is good also and is helped by the brilliance of Timothy Spall who plays the husband. I can't believe how the actors can act out the sex act so convincingly well without penetration - or do they? It's a really good film.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 July 2004
I was extremely pleased with this film. It was not just an empty piece of erotica which leaves you wondering why you ever bothred watching it. It is very explicit, but it works well in the context of the film. I highly recommend it.
0Comment|30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Jay is the product of a broken marriage, he has flashbacks of the time he spent with his family, and after returning from his job as a manager at a trendy bar, he languishes in his dingy flat.

The first part of the film focuses primarily on Jay, he analyses what he has with the woman he sleeps with every Wednesday but who is effectively a stranger to him. He concludes that the informal arrangement is a nothing more than a hassle, and then he starts to realise that she's all he's got. The film gets interesting when after following her he starts to unpick the details of her `real' life, it's only when he meets her family that he recognises that she's a bigger part of his world than he initially thought.

He invades her personal life when he inadvertently ends up on friendly terms with her other half. The scenes where he is spending time with her husband are incredibly tense, you're always aware that Jay is now in a weird state of mind as he is emotionally confused and seems to be playing mind games - offering hints at what he's been up to, as if he wants to be found out. The woman now ceases to be a stranger, Claire's life unfolds on screen and we see how her unrealised ambitions and dissatisfaction with her marriage are taking a toll on her mental wellbeing. Her story is more complicated than Jays and the second half of the film is more compelling to watch.

The film gained some notoriety because of the sexual content, but when viewed in context of the story - it doesn't seem overly explicit or graphic. Instead it almost appears quite sad, there's almost a sense of lingering regret after the moment has passed and reality of their situation returns. This shouldn't be dismissed as a film pre-occupied with sex, it's a film exploring what it means to the two involved and the after learning more about each other the physical act itself seems to benefit from an emotional edge which was always lacking. The performances by all are wonderfully bleak and capture the mood of the situation, although it might seem like a far fetched set of scenarios; Mark Rylance and Kerry Fox are completely believable and the film looks absolutely plausible. This isn't a romantic film, everyone seems to be a victim at some level and Timothy Spall shows again that he is always capable of providing a strong presence even when his time in a scene is minimal.

In a nutshell: This film explores how sex without intimacy provides physical relief but leads to a want for something more satisfying, something fulfilling on an emotional level. The film meanders between the bland and the intense - it manages to be thought provoking but at times only just maintains your interest.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 March 2015
If you haven't seen this film and you are a grown adult and are in a relationship or have had a relationship, then watch it.
It is very moving, and very sexy and graphic but although far from tender, it is touching. Lust, love and recriminations, in all their messy jumble. By the end I felt sorrowful for the protagonists, all of whom had missed some opportunity. Perhaps love is the drug to warm and make us forget....for a short while, before reality beaches us again on a desolate cold shore.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 March 2011
This D.V.D. is advertised as being `uncensored', it's not, it's exactly the same as the
original version. Still a good film though, I bought it when it first came out on D.V.D. many
moons ago. The U.S. issue is no different either!
0Comment|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 September 2015
I watch this film on channel 4 years ago and wasn't disappointed second time around it is so beautifully acted and the scenes are so naturally portrayed this is one of the few films which was probably not seen by many and yet it should have been worth the watch
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)