Amateur (1994 film)

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Amateur ver1.jpg
Promotional poster for the film
Directed byHal Hartley
Written byHal Hartley
StarringIsabelle Huppert
Martin Donovan
Elina Löwensohn
Michael Gaston
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics (US)
Artificial Eye (UK)
Release date
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom

Amateur is a 1994 comedy crime drama film written and directed by Hal Hartley starring Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan and Elina Löwensohn.[1][2] The story revolves around an ex-nun who gets mixed up in pornography, violence and international crime but ends up intact in the convent she left.


Still a virgin after 15 years in a convent, the demure Isabelle earns her living in New York by writing pornography, which she researches by buying magazines and hiring videos. In a café she befriends Thomas, who has amnesia after falling from a window. In another café, an accountant called Edward is befriended by Sofia, who pushed Thomas out of the window because, she says, he introduced her to drugs at the age of 12 and made her into a celebrated porn actress. She now wants revenge on Jacques, a crooked businessman for whom both Thomas and Edward worked. Learning that Edward has data on disk that could destroy Jacques, she lifts the disks from him and directs him into the hands of Jacques' hit men, who torture him and leave him for dead.

Meanwhile, in a hired video Thomas sees Sofia in action and his memory starts returning. With Isabelle he retraces his steps and finds the flat where he and Sofia lived. Isabelle dresses in one of Sofia's sexy outfits and is on the point of losing her virginity to him when someone enters and the two hastily hide. It is Sofia, pursued by Jacques' hit men who tie her up and begin to torture her. Bursting out, Thomas and Isabelle throw one hit man out of the window and, freeing Sofia, make off with her in the other hit man's car. Outside they find Edward, badly damaged but not dead, and the four head for an empty country cottage that Edward knows. On the way Isabelle posts the disks to her publisher, asking him to expose the evil of Jacques.

When the surviving hit man traces them to the cottage, he wounds Sofia before being shot dead by Edward. The four make off before the police arrive and Isabelle directs them to her former convent, where they are given sanctuary and the dying Sofia is tended. But the convent is surrounded by armed police, who want Edward for murder. Thomas, his conscience awakened by the kindness and care Isabelle has shown, by the realisation of his criminal past, and by guilt over the fate of Sofia, walks out of the front gate and is killed instantly by a police marksman.



Soundtrack album by
Various artists
LabelMatador Records

The soundtrack features excerpts from various alternative artists:

The soundtrack also included original music by "Ned Rifle" (a pseudonym used by Hal Hartley) and Jeff Taylor. It was released by Matador Records.


Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively gave the film an approval rating of 78%, based on 27 reviews with an average rating of 6.1/10.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pall, Ellen (9 April 1995). "FILM; The Elusive Women Who Inhabit The Quirky Films of Hal Hartley". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Amateur (1994)". wdw. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Amateur (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 26 June 2018.

External links[edit]