16 April 2024

Film Review – The Sheltering Sky (1990)

For some weird reason considering my true love for Debra Winger, high admiration of John Malkovich and appreciation of visually sweeping, late great Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, I’d never seen BAFTA winning melodrama, The Sheltering Sky (1990) until now. Restored and beautifully presented my eyeballs were in awe.

Based upon the timeless romance novel by Paul Bowls’ this extremely gradual adaptation has some picturesque memorable moments as you would expect by the director of The Last Emperor (1987) and my favourite Stealing Beauty (1996) and soaring acting from potentially Oscar worthy Winger.

When American couple Port and Kit Moresby, currently experiencing recent turbulence in their relationship embark on a global trip to enliven the union, not all goes as planned.

A couple of years before his almighty lead role in grunge classic Singles (1992) bubbly Campbell Scott is their friend, Tunner, he has an amorous twinkle in his eye for Kit, she reciprocates lust for him, but not a lot makes sense or becomes established between them.

The emptiness of Port wandering also comes to a threshold too with Malkovich heartfelt with is acting, without conveying sympathy. It is hard to describe his performance as it is written.

Young Timothy Spall appears in a purposely obtrusive role. The weird score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, is singular and dividing.

No masterpiece, The Sheltering Sky, definably interesting for movie connoisseurs who enjoy Bertolucci, somewhat arty in excess.

Quite intricate filming on authentic sand covered locations and obviously harsh conditions. Debra Winger an absolute standout.

★★ 1/2

Drama, Adventure | Italy, 1990 | ARROW | Dir.Bernardo Bertolucci | Debra Winger, John Malkovich, Campbell Scott, Timothy Spall

Follow Shane A.Bassett on Twitter @Movie_analyst

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