The Sheltering Sky

Critics Consensus

The Sheltering Sky puts its talented stars at odds with a misguided and largely unsatisfying adaptation of potentially unfilmable source material.



Total Count: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,464
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Movie Info

From director Bernardo Bertolucci, The Sheltering Sky is a filmed adaptation of the novel of the same name by Paul Bowles. Debra Winger and John Malkovich star as Kit and Port Moresby, a married American couple who globetrot to North Africa in the late '40s with the hopes of re-sparking their love and adding some zest to their lackluster lives. Along for the ride is the pair's friend George Tunner (Campbell Scott), who soon begins having an affair with Kit. As they struggle through the numbing heat of Africa amidst the sudden love triangle, each of the trio sees his and her beliefs and lives challenged. The Sheltering Sky earned a Best Director nomination for Bertolucci at the 1991 Golden Globe Awards.


John Malkovich
as Port Moresby
Debra Winger
as Kit Moresby
Jill Bennett
as Mrs. Lyle
Eric Vu-An
as Balquassim
Amina Annabi
as Mahrnia
Philippe Morier-Genoud
as Captain Broussard
Sotigui Kouyaté
as Abdelkader
Tom Novembre
as French Immigration Officer
Kamel Cherif
as Ticket Seller
Nicoletta Braschi
as French Woman
Paul Bowles
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for The Sheltering Sky

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for The Sheltering Sky

  • Dec 13, 2009
    More of an aesthetic venture than an actual filmic one. Deservedly praised for it's cinematography even if it is more than just reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia. Especially the gimmick of panning from right to left almost throughout the film to symbolize a journey. Some good performances makes it worthwhile, but ultimately too long. The last third is virtually without dialogue, and it didn't really capture me thoroughly so I gradually lost interest in where our characters went. Both geographically and psychologically.
    a z Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2008
    A painfully long movie...
    Audrey L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2008
    The worst!!! When its finally over you find yourself asking, how can so many talented people make something this pretentious and odious.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2008
    Bertolucci's worst film. I would rather tear my eyes out than see this again.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer

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