The Sheltering Sky (1990)
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Critic Reviews for The Sheltering Sky
A disappointingly reductive adaptation of Paul Bowles's first novel.
As you'd expect, it's a big, handsome film, rich and strange in psychological depths and eroticism. Malkovich and Winger play woundingly well.
The book is so complete, so deep and so self-contained that it shuts the movie out. Bertolucci shows us the outsides and the surfaces, and a person seeing this movie without having read the book might ask what it is about.
Audience Reviews for The Sheltering Sky
I would feel like I was overlooking some considerable flaws if I called this movie perfect, but I am perfectly okay with saying that I loved it. Bertolucci's direction is as powerful as ever, controlling tone and atmosphere with the precision we expect from him. This is among his most visually beautiful work, with Vittorio Storaro's cinematography providing aesthetic poetry in almost every scene. Peculiarly constructed and sometimes confusing, I found this film's debatable narrative faults to be conducive to its overall effect. John Malkovich and Debra Winger are outstanding, and there are plenty of strong supporting performances as well. A beautiful, unnerving epic drama.
A painfully long movie...
The worst!!! When its finally over you find yourself asking, how can so many talented people make something this pretentious and odious.