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Holy Smoke

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Overview

It's said that sex and religion are two subjects that no one can discuss without arguing; writer/director Jane Campion tackles both head-on in this satiric comedy drama. On a trip to India, Australian Ruth Kate Winslet has a spiritual awakening and embraces the teachings of a guru named Baba. Back home in Sydney, Ruth's mother and father Julie Hamilton and Tim Robertson are appalled to learn that their daughter now answers to the name Nazni and has no intention of returning. Mother visits her daughter in India in...
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Overview

It's said that sex and religion are two subjects that no one can discuss without arguing; writer/director Jane Campion tackles both head-on in this satiric comedy drama. On a trip to India, Australian Ruth Kate Winslet has a spiritual awakening and embraces the teachings of a guru named Baba. Back home in Sydney, Ruth's mother and father Julie Hamilton and Tim Robertson are appalled to learn that their daughter now answers to the name Nazni and has no intention of returning. Mother visits her daughter in India in hopes of convincing her to come home, but it's not until she suffers a life-threatening asthma attack that Ruth agrees to return for a visit. Mother pretends to arrange a meeting with Ruth's father, who has been ill, and this trick lands Ruth in the clutches of P.J. Waters Harvey Keitel, an American exit counselor who deprograms members of religious cults. Waters begins to loosen Ruth's belief in Baba's teachings, but P.J. finds himself sexually attracted to Ruth, and in time she allows him to seduce her. Ruth soon turns the tables on P.J., as she discovers that sex allows her to make mincemeat of his long-held beliefs as a macho, misogynist male. Jane's sister Anna Campion, herself a director, co-authored the screenplay; Pam Grier appears in a supporting role as P.J.'s partner and girlfriend.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Director Jane Campion and actor Harvey Keitel, who worked together on Campion's critically acclaimed 1993 film, The Piano, renew their collaboration in Holy Smoke. Kate Winslet stars as Ruth, an Australian girl whose mother lures her away from an Indian guru and hands her over to a macho, American "cult exiter" played by Harvey Keitel. The intimate, three-day, one-on-one deprogramming session that ensues turns into a battle of the sexes that leave both parties in an emotional free fall. The story bounces easily between farce and drama: The scenes involving Ruth's family approach broad satire, while the charged encounter between Winslet and Keitel gives these two let-it-all-hang-out actors plenty of opportunity to strut their stuff. Striking photography of the Australian outback gives Holy Smoke a strong visual impact, which is further enhanced by Angelo Badalamenti's exotic score and an ironic use of pop music including a couple of songs by Neil Diamond. Campion, a sublime stylist, directs moments both intimate and absurd with real self-assurance, resulting in a film that is engaging and unpredictable throughout.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Nobody makes a fascinating mess quite the way Jane Campion does, and she pulls that off once again in this sometimes difficult, but always arresting examination of the uneasy war of the sexes. The film sometimes stretches credibility to a breaking point when laying bare (often literally) its potent themes of sexuality and deprogramming (not to mention about two endings too many to resolve them), but as always, Campion is a gifted storyteller and an even more astute, visionary director, getting gutsy, layered performances from the two leads, especially Kate Winslet, whose tour-de-force portrayal of womanhood is rife with piquant observation and a healthy sexual prowess. Dion Beebe's glorious widescreen photography gives the story an otherworldly loveliness and gravity, and Campion's use of music remains as brilliant as ever. The film failed to live up to the reputation of Campion's breakout 1993 hit The Piano, despite great notices for herself and star Winslet, who was an Oscar hopeful before the film's chilly reception.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/7/2012
  • UPC: 096009780395
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Miramax Echo Bridge
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kate Winslet Ruth
Harvey Keitel P.J. Waters
Pam Grier Carol
Julie Hamilton Ruth's mom
Sophie Lee Yvonne
Daniel Wyllie Robbie
Paul Goddard Tim
Tim Robertson Ruth's dad
George Mangos Yani
Kerry Walker
Leslie Dayman
Samantha Murray
Austen Tayshus
Simon Anderson
Genevieve Lemon
Technical Credits
Jane Campion Director, Screenwriter
Angelo Badalamenti Score Composer
Kerry Barden Casting
Alison Barrett Casting
Dion Beebe Cinematographer
Tony Campbell Art Director
Anna Campion Screenwriter
Jan Chapman Producer
Animal Logic Film Special Effects
Julie Goldstein Executive Producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Veronika Jenet Editor
Ben Osmo Sound/Sound Designer
Janet Patterson Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer
Lee Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Suzanne Smith Casting
Mark Turnbull Associate Producer, Asst. Director
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Opening Credits [4:04]
2. The Truth About Ruth [2:23]
3. "How Do We Get Her Back?" [3:07]
4. Maybe Next Time [5:19]
5. Out of Breath [2:32]
6. Ruth Comes Home [1:14]
7. PJ Waters, Cult Exiter [3:05]
8. The Briefing [2:08]
9. Surrounded by Love [7:02]
10. "Why Are You Here?" [2:38]
11. Time to Go [1:30]
12. Day 1: Isolation [6:35]
13. "Keep Breathing" [4:51]
14. Day 2: "What Do You Believe?" [4:35]
15. Help! [5:41]
16. The Cult Videos [5:51]
17. Confused About Love [3:38]
18. Day 3: "I'm Sorry, Ruth" [2:43]
19. The Pub [6:05]
20. Playing Games [5:11]
21. Carol Arrives [3:03]
22. "Be Kind" [10:30]
23. Struck by Love [3:11]
24. Searching for Ruth [3:56]
25. Praying for Ruth [1:30]
26. Baby, It's You [2:09]
27. A Change of Heart [2:08]
28. One Year Later [2:07]
29. End Credits [5:07]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Set Up
      Spoken Languages
         English
         French
      Captions & Subtitles
         Captions: English for the Hearing Impaired
         Subtitles: Spanish
         Subtitles: None
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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(0)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    very weird but worth a viewing

    This movie is so weird that the actors needed great bravery to be in it. I think it is worth seeing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just Bad

    It is one of the worst movies in recent memory. It's up there with the Piano and Legends of the Fall. Just bad.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews