Henry & June

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This article is about the film based upon the book by Anaïs Nin. For other uses, see Henry and June (disambiguation).
Henry & June
Henry&June.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Produced by Peter Kaufman
Written by Philip Kaufman
Rose Kaufman
Starring Fred Ward
Uma Thurman
Richard E. Grant
Maria de Medeiros
Kevin Spacey
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Dede Allen
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam
William S. Scharf
Production
company
Walrus & Associates
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • October 5, 1990 (1990-10-05)
Running time
136 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $23,472,449[2]

Henry & June is a 1990 American biographical drama film directed by Philip Kaufman, and stars Fred Ward, Maria de Medeiros and Uma Thurman. It is loosely based on Anaïs Nin's French book of the same name, and tells the story of Nin's relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June.

The film was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 63rd Academy Awards. It is one of three Oscar-nominated films to be released with an NC-17 rating, the other films are Wild at Heart (1990) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).[3][4][5]

Plot Synopsis[edit]

Paris, France in 1931. Anaïs Nin is in a stable relationship with her husband Hugo, but longs for more out of life. When Nin first meets Henry Miller, he is working on his first novel. Nin is drawn to Miller and his wife June, as well as their bohemian lifestyle. Nin becomes involved in the couple's tormented relationship, having an affair with Miller and also pursuing June. Ultimately, Nin helps Miller to publish his novel, Tropic of Cancer, but catalyzes the Millers' separation, while she returns to Hugo.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack was arranged by Mark Adler, consisting of period popular songs.

  1. Jean Lenoir, "Parlez-moi d'amour" (Lucienne Boyer)
  2. Claude Debussy, Six épigraphes antiques: Pour l'égyptienne (Ensemble Musical de Paris)
  3. Francis Poulenc, "Les cheminsode l'amour" (Ransom Wilson and Christopher O'Riley)
  4. Debussy, Petite Suite: "Ballet" (Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky)
  5. Harry Warren, "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" (Bing Crosby)
  6. Erik Satie, "Gnossienne No. 3" (Pascal Rogé)
  7. Satie, "Je te veux" (Jean-Pierre Armengaud)
  8. Debussy, "Sonata for Violin and Piano" (first movement) (Kyung-wha Chung and Radu Lupu)
  9. Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne No. 1 in C Major [sic] (Paul Crossley)
  10. Georges Auric, "Sous les toits de Paris" (Rene Nazels)
  11. Jacques Larmanjat, lyrics by Francis Carco, "Le doux caboulot" (Annie Fratellini)
  12. Debussy, "La plus que lente" (Josef Suk)
  13. "Je m'ennuie" (Mark Adler)
  14. "Coralia" (Mark Adler)
  15. Irving Mills, "St. James Infirmary Blues" (Mark Adler)
  16. Francisco Tárrega, "Gran Vals" (Francisco Tárrega)
  17. Joaquin Nin-Culmell, "Basque Song" (Joaquin Nin-Culmell)
  18. Vincent Scotto, lyrics by George Koger and H. Vama, "J'ai deux amours" (Josephine Baker)

Rating[edit]

Henry & June was the first film to receive the MPAA's rating of NC-17[6] (Predator 2 originally received this rating, but was cut to qualify for an R rating) which was devised as a replacement for the X rating. NC-17 was intended to signify serious, non-pornographic films with more violence or (especially) sexual content than would qualify for an R rating. The inclusion of the postcard Nin views at the start of the film (which is of Hokusai's The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife), and some scenes of le Bal des Beaux Arts contributed to the NC-17 rating.

The film was given a more lenient M rating in Australia and an uncut 18 in the UK. Conversely, it was banned in South Africa. The ban has since been lifted. The film was given an R18 rating in New Zealand.

Reception[edit]

Box Office[edit]

Henry & June was a moderate box office success, grossing $11,567,449 in the domestic market and $11,905,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $23,472,449.[2]

Critical[edit]

The film received a 69% approval rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.[7] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, but felt that, 'Kaufman, trying to deepen the erotic explorations of Unbearable Lightness, ends up with a triangle movie that’s watchable but also arty and rather stilted. The biggest disappointment of the film is that, after all the ratings brouhaha, it’s not very sexy.'[8] Janet Maslin of the New York Times noted the film's efforts to present sex in a more artistic, highbrow manner, remarking, 'The film's sex scenes, photographed delicately by Philippe Rousselot and directed with great intensity by Mr. Kaufman, are particularly lofty. These sequences, often tinged with symbolism (a hand playing a guitar juxtaposed with a hand on a woman's breast), tend to be self-consciously bold,' but felt the film lacked daring.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]