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Holy Smoke (1999)

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Ruth's been brainwashed by a guru in Delhi, India. Her parents in Sydney hire a specialist in reversing this. Ruth is tricked to return to Australia and is isolated in an outback cabin with the specialist. It gets messy.

Director:

Jane Campion
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Ruth
Harvey Keitel ... PJ Waters
Julie Hamilton ... Mum
Sophie Lee Sophie Lee ... Yvonne
Dan Wyllie ... Robbie
Paul Goddard ... Tim
Tim Robertson Tim Robertson ... Dad
George Rafael ... Yani (as George Mangos)
Kerry Walker Kerry Walker ... Puss
Les Dayman Les Dayman ... Bill-Bill (as Leslie Dayman)
Samantha Murray Samantha Murray ... Prue
Sandy Gutman ... Stan (as Austen Tayshus)
Simon Anderson Simon Anderson ... Fabio
Pam Grier ... Carol
Eva Martin Eva Martin ... Devotee
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Storyline

While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire P.J. Waters, a macho cult de-programmer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But P.J. quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent, and iron-willed Ruth.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Has writer-director Jane Campion gone too far? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax | Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Australia

Language:

English | Hindi

Release Date:

18 February 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Smoke! See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,307, 5 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,758,780, 9 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's closing credits dedication reads: "In special memory of Sarah Bridgland". See more »

Goofs

When PJ is driving in the red outfit, he is on the left-hand "driver" side. When the lady gets in the car, he then has switched to the right-hand side (still driving). The lady is then in the left driver side where PJ was originally. See more »

Quotes

PJ Waters: I was young once, too, and handsome. You'd have been impressed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The sex scene between Keitel and Winslet has been trimmed in the U.S version. On the Australian VHS, Keitel is seen putting himself between Winslet's legs and reaching down to his crotch before thrusting. As they are making love, Winslet says "Don't come, don't come", then there is the sound of Keitel doing so. He stops, and Winslet moans for a bit before the film cuts to the next scene. In the U.S version, they trim Keitel getting inbetween her legs and reaching for his crotch. The scene plays out as normal just until Keitel "comes" and the sound of Winslet moaning is also trimmed. The U.S version also misses some of the thrusting and related sounds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Intimate Portrait: Pam Grier (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking Through the Fire
(Geneviève Lemon (as G. Lemon) / C. Wilson)
Performed by Geneviève Lemon (as Genevieve Lemon)
See more »

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User Reviews

Aptly titled...
13 February 2000 | by Mourn-2See all my reviews

This movie is aptly titled, a major smoke and mirrors job with no real meaning and no real meat. Winslet's performance isn't bad, and Keitel is decent in a completely unconvincing characterization. Its difficult to believe a man who has allegedly deprogrammed 189 previous 'clients', then suddenly ends up in Australia without his girlfriend and drops his pants for anything female, including the girl he's being paid $10K to "help". This movie could have worked, but its slow and ponderous right up until the sexual congress convenes, and then it only becomes more preposterous. I'm not sure what sort of strange demons Jane Campion has in her closet, but they aren't doing a very good job of guiding her art. Just like "The Piano", this movie completely lost me and comes off as some sort of indecipherable post-feminist statement.

The supporting cast is awful, which might not be their fault, but the fact that they are all cast as wooden, emotionally immature, alcoholic Australians. If I were from down-under, I'd be offended by the stereotypical portrayals. The end of the movie goes from rediculous to nice and tidy with a pretty bow on top...very weak. Essentially, this movie is a vehicle to get Kate Winslet naked and Harvey Kietel in a dress, so its probably not going to do too badly at the box office. But, if you want to see anything deeper than a beautiful actress nude and a decent actor cross-dressing, avoid "Holy Smoke".


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