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The Pillow Book

  • Drama
  • 1995
  • Peter Greenaway
  • 121 mins
  • 18

Summary

A Japanese woman with a fetish for writing on the human body is left in despair when she is forced into a loveless and unfulfilling marriage. An encounter with an English translator sent to her homeland brings sensuality back into her life in stunning fashion. Peter Greenaway's drama, starring Ewan McGregor, Vivian Wu, Yoshi Oida and Ken Ogata.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Extraordinary. Ravishing. Preposterous. The usual descriptions of director Peter Greenaway's work can all be applied here in spades. Even more overwrought and over-decorated than his previous films, this mainly Hong Kong-set tale of sex and power centres on the fetish of a Japanese woman (Vivian Wu) who enjoys having her flesh written upon. Ewan McGregor co-stars as one of Wu's lovers who gets mixed up in her plan to take revenge on the homosexual publisher who degraded her father. The split-screen motifs are a wonder to behold but, although it deals with white-hot emotions, the film is as ice-cold as winter. The Pillow Book is certainly no bedtime story.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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NagikoVivian Wu
JeromeEwan McGregor
PublisherYoshi Oida
FatherKen Ogata
Aunt / MaidHideko Yoshida
MotherJudy Ongg
HusbandKen Mitsuishi

Crew

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DirectorPeter Greenaway

Details

Guidance
Contains violence, drug abuse, sex scenes and nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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