films seen
average score
France - 88 years old
Alive and kicking
more info

Contested director, whose private life may be even more famous than his films. That's not a knock on the quality of his oeuvre, which contains a number of true classics that are impossible to pass by for any passionate cinephile.

The good stuff

The Ninth Gate

by Roman Polanski
1999 / 133m - USA
The Ninth Gate poster

Solid pieces


by Roman Polanski
2011 / 80m - France
Carnage poster

The inoffensive

Chacun Son Cinéma

by Theodoros Angelopoulos, Olivier Assayas, Bille August, Jane Campion, Youssef Chahine, Kaige Chen, Michael Cimino, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Manoel de Oliveira, Raymond Depardon, Atom Egoyan, Amos Gitai, Hsiao-hsien Hou, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Aki Kaurismäki, Abbas Kiarostami, Takeshi Kitano, Andrey Konchalovskiy, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, David Lynch, Nanni Moretti, Roman Polanski, Raoul Ruiz, Walter Salles, Elia Suleiman, Ming-liang Tsai, Gus Van Sant, Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders, Kar-Wai Wong, Yimou Zhang
2007 / 100m - France
Chacun Son Cinéma poster

Dubious filler

The Ghost Writer

by Roman Polanski
2010 / 128m - UK
The Ghost Writer poster

Bitter Moon

by Roman Polanski
1992 / 139m - UK
Bitter Moon poster

A very strange Polanski. I still can't quite grasp what he was trying to accomplish with this film. In a way Bitter Moon tries very hard to be sensual and dark, at the same time it's so incredibly cheesy and daft that it was hard to take serious. That may be by design, somehow I don't really buy that though.

An uptight Hugh Grant meets a rather unique couple on a cruise. A slightly older man in a wheelchair is very keen on informing him on how he met his younger, quite dashing wife. So keen in fact that he keeps tricking Grant in listening to his story, where he spares no details, not even when it comes to his sexual affairs.

The film is relatively explicit, but Polanski fails terribly at the sensual scenes. It's almost a mockery, I just couldn't discover any explicit winks or nods, so I assume it was meant to be truly steamy. That kills the film, which is a shame as there was quite a lot of positive energy there to make something out of it.

Knife in the Water

by Roman Polanski
Nóz w Wodzie
1962 / 94m - Poland
Knife in the Water poster

Polanski's first feature film. It's a bit clumsy and unsubtle, a conceptual film where the characters are extremely one-dimensional, and the narrative is purely functional. Everything is shaped around a rather simple premise: the battle between a young free spirit who has nothing and a frustrated older man who has everything.

Andrzej and Krystyna are on their way to spend the weekend on their boat. On the way there they almost run into a young hitchhiker. They decide to ask the young man along on their trip, but it doesn't take long before tensions start to flare up between the two men, with Krystyna stuck in the middle.

The black and white cinematography feels a bit obligatory, the soundtrack is tacked on, and the performances are pretty static. I wasn't too interested in the premise of the film either, but Polanski does know how to build up tension and because the film is relatively short, it was still somewhat entertaining.

Plain forgettable

The Pianist

by Roman Polanski
2002 / 150m - Poland
The Pianist poster


by Roman Polanski
1965 / 105m - UK
Repulsion poster

Big nopes


by Roman Polanski
1974 / 130m - USA
Chinatown poster

Rosemary's Baby

by Roman Polanski
1968 / 137m - USA
Rosemary's Baby poster