films seen
10
average score
2.15*
nationality
France - 89 years old
status
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

1999 / 133m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
4.0*/5.0*
The Ninth Gate poster

Solid pieces

Carnage

2011 / 80m - France
Comedy, Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Carnage poster

The inoffensive

Dubious filler

The Ghost Writer

2010 / 128m - UK
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
The Ghost Writer poster

Bitter Moon

1992 / 139m - UK
Romance, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
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.

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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

Nóz w Wodzie
1962 / 94m - Poland
Drama, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
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.

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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

2002 / 150m - Poland
War
1.5*/5.0*
The Pianist poster

Repulsion

1965 / 105m - UK
Horror, Thriller
1.5*/5.0*
Repulsion poster

Big nopes

Chinatown

1974 / 130m - USA
Mystery, Crime
1.0*/5.0*
Chinatown poster

Rosemary's Baby

1968 / 137m - USA
Horror
1.0*/5.0*
Rosemary's Baby poster