Henry & June (1990)


“I’ve done the vilest things – the foulest things – but I’ve done them… superbly.” – June Miller

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A young French writer finds inspiration in his writings when she meets Henry Miller and his wife who introduce her to a whole new outlook on life and love.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about when it came out yet never had much of a desire to see what it was all about.

The film is quite strange and is meant to be sensual, yet by using skin to tell the story, it fails to have a competent and interesting narrative along the way.

This film focuses so much on the sexual aspects of the characters which might have been quite groundbreaking at the time this made, but keep things much too distant and unbalanced as a story at the same time.

This movie precipitated the NC-17 rating of movies in the US since they didn’t feel it truly deserved an ‘R’ or an ‘X’ but rather something in between.

The story that is being shown to us is meant to say so much more on an existential level but by doing so, they take away from giving us an intriguing story about interesting characters.

The characters have little to tell us beyond the fact that they wish to explore love and life in a very different way which will supposedly help them see the world in a different way.

The cats of this film is quite talented with Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Richard Grant and Maria de Medeiros (of Pulp Fiction (1994) fame opposite Bruce Willis) all playing major characters.

Unfortunately, they all feel completely wasted here because this is just a really boring story told in a very uninteresting fashion.

Bottom Line – Really strange film that is meant to be sensual, yet fails to tell an interesting story because they are much too focused on the sexual aspects which may have been groundbreaking at the time, but don’t help make this a better and more enjoyable story. This movie is the reason that they created the NC-17 rating.  The story is meant to be seen on a very existential level and that fails to keep this story intriguing because the characters don’t really have much to tell us beyond the fact that they wish to explore love in a different way which will in turn help them see the world in a different way. Ward, Thurman, de Medeiros and Grant are all great actors, but they are all wasted here in this very uninteresting attempt to tell a boring story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This movie precipitated the creation of the NC-17 MPAA rating, which it earned in place of an “X”. The two to three second shot of Anaïs Nin (Maria de Medeiros) looking at an explicit illustrated postcard involving a Japanese woman and a squid, less than three minutes into the opening credits of the film, was the cause of the NC-17 rating. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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One thought on “Henry & June (1990)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1990 | MovieRob

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