22 November 1999 | Afracious
Entrancing, mesmeric and serpentine
The film begins with the camera focused on the sea and the waves, and the music with the piano playing to good effect, then an increasingly enlarging zooming shot of a porthole. Then to the cruise liner where the four main characters are based. It is a story narrated and told by Oscar, played by Peter Coyote, who is wheelchair-bound, to Nigel, played by Hugh Grant, a man he meets on the cruise. Nigel is intrigued by an entwining and serpentine tale Oscar tells him, and so are we, and even though it starts to sound incredulous, he has to return to Oscar's quarters to hear more. The tale is so engrossing because it concerns Oscar's beautiful, sultry and seductive wife, Mimi, played mesmerisingly by Emmanuelle Seigner. Oscar is entranced at first with her and delves into all kinds of sexual games, then his passion for her begins to subside and he rejects her and leaves her alone on a plane. All the while Nigel's wife (Kristin Scott-Thomas) is becoming disillusioned with Nigel's fascination with Mimi and Oscar. I do not want to unveil anymore, just to implore you to watch this film and let it mesmerise you, like it did me. I felt as though I had to keep watching and somehow I did not want to leave and let go of it until the end.