Holy Smoke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Holy Smoke Reviews

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June 16, 2018
Some of it is wonderfully acted, specifically in the more intimate scenes with just Keitel and Winslet but Campion has too much going on here overall and a lot of Keitel's character arcs just seem out of place and strange. As much as I love Campion as a unique feminist filmmaker, there is an ultimate loss of cohesion and focus to this film which could have been easily amended by keeping it simpler and more grounded in its characters.
March 26, 2018
When the "Victim" becomes the "Master"
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2015
Starts really well only to run out of ideas and drive off the proverbial cliff.
March 20, 2015
takes on sex and religion all in 1 pic.
December 8, 2014
I don't have to honor a contract with the devil.

Ruth Barron and her friends head to India where they fall in with a religious cult. Ruth can't believe the beauty of India while under the cult leader's influence; however, her parents aren't as impressed. They hire a man known for his ability to rescue kidnapped girls. He goes to India and brings her back to her family in Australia and finds an isolated house in the desert to try and help her recover from her spell. He'll find his task more challenging than he anticipated based on her beauty, intelligence, and sexual prowess.

"Which of these men would you trust to pack your parachute?"

Jane Champion, director of The Piano, In the Cut, Bright Star, Sweetie, The Portrait of a Lady, and episodes of Top of the Lake, delivers Holy Smoke. The storyline for this picture is a bit uneven but ended better than I anticipated. The settings were cool and the acting was very good. The cast includes Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel, Julie Hamilton, Paul Goddard, Dan Wyllie, Sandy Gutman, and Pam Grier.

"Is there a toilet or a hole here?"

I grabbed this off Netflix because I am a fan of Keitel and I thought a pairing with Winslet would be fascinating. This was pretty good. I can tell you I did find some scenes annoying and frustrating, but the overall evolution of the film is good and I adored the ending. Overall, this is worth a viewing but likely not worth adding to your DVD collection as you'll only need to see this once.

"Are you pleasing yourself? Is that what we brought you up to do?"

Grade: B
October 28, 2014
Wacky. Jane Campion goes out on a limb again. Are Australians really anything like this dysfunctional lot? The movie is a strange mix of comic set pieces and a serious undertone. The alien (to non-Australians) environment exacerbates the disorientation. I liked it more than the missus did. maybe that was down to the number of sex scenes ;) .
September 1, 2014
What a terrible mess of a movie.
May 5, 2014
While it has an interesting premise, I feel the film suffers greatly from an identity crisis. Its offbeat for the wrong reasons and tends to shift moods without any proper reason or warning, leaving the viewer a little baffled by what this film is exactly trying to be. Winslet and Keitel do well for themselves, but it bites off more than it can really chew as it develops itself into what is ultimately a very confused drama about mental empowerment.
November 14, 2013
You know a movie is rotten when they decide that the phrase "Holy smoke!" is a perfect title for the movie. It sounds interesting though.
July 14, 2013
I just loved it when I saw it o a theatre, back in the day.
April 13, 2013
Kate Winslet is an Aussie backpacker brain-washed into joining a cult while travelling in India. Harvey Keitel is hired by her parents to de-programme her and ends up in a twisted relationship as they try to assert themselves over each over.

Quite amusing in places (mostly from the Aussie supporting cast), it has a strong performance from the lead pair, but has a slightly unsatisfying ending. It is nevertheless recommended for something different to watch.
April 5, 2013
The worried family of an Australian girl who experiences a spiritual awakening in India as part of a strange religious cult, hires a macho exit counsellor to reprogram her belief. In Holy Smoke, a complex concept is dealt too lightly and inconsistently. The screenplay is quite poor and makes even the inspired performances seem silly.
January 20, 2013
Not bad till the second half.... then the wheels fall off the bus ! Harvey Keitel in a dress and sobbing like a girl was just too much. Could have been a great vehicle for both of these great actors, but alas...... it stunk up the joint.
January 8, 2013
"What do you like about me? My personality or my breasts?"
The wonderful 'Wobblers' Winslet reveals all in this funny, sexy and slightly odd film. And I mean all. Harvey Keitel is excellent and Kate Winslet even more so. An original piece of work from the Campions.
½ January 5, 2013
This was on IFC once and I caught some of it. Why? I'm not sure but maybe it has something to do with Katie Winslet. What I wound up saying as I wasted about 45 minutes of my life on this before turning it off was "Holy crap does this suck!"
½ September 19, 2012
good film that makes you really wonder what it is really about. and at the end of it you realize that its not just a simple story you watched because it made you wonder about yourself too. do i make any sense? =) i guess you should it to understand what i'm talking about.
½ August 5, 2012
Holy smoke!!! That was a really bad movie!! It went from hard to follow, to maybe it's okay... to unbearable pain!!! But after wasting an hour and a half, it would be worse, to not know what the supposed point of it was....
it got worse. Horrible, weird, don't waste your time or brain cells.
It is unfortunate, bc I love both Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel. They were great, but I hated the story line. Only good thing was the soundtrack. Neil Diamond, and other great songs!
July 8, 2012
I liked how the story was very different and A bit messy just like real life. All the characters are flawed and trying to muddle through. I would recommend it.
April 26, 2012
really wanted to love this film but couldn't despite being a guru suvivor myself. Winslet radiant as always, Keitel deliberately and humiliatingly silly as the sheep with snacks.
½ March 25, 2012
Great storyline, interesting, different. The acting is superb. I enjoyed this one a lot. It's a very complicated film, beautiful too. (don't understand the low ratings)
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