Damage (1992) starring Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson, & Rupert Graves
With love comes risk. With obsession comes… Damage.
The most talked about novel of the year is now the most talked about film of the year.
-Taglines for the film
A middle-aged/married member of Parliament, Dr. Stephen Fleming (Irons), falls passionately in love w/ his son’s young fiancée/art curator, Anna Barton (Binoche). They conduct their affair recklessly. Soon, Stephen wants to leave is wife, Ingrid (Richardson), to be w/ Anna. She has no intention of allowing him to do that. They’re eventually discovered by the son, Martyn (Graves), and must deal w/ the resulting “damage.”
Anna: Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.
This is a terrific/character-driven drama (directed by Louis Malle) re: emotionally damaged people and romantic obsession. It is effective, b/c emotions are portrayed honestly. Stephen has a great career, a pretty/supportive wife, two kids, and a lovely home. Why threaten it with an affair!? We think he is making a huge mistake, yet many others have done this IRL. At an event in Parliament, Anna seeks out Stephen and introduces herself. (Some of you may wonder if her dating Martyn was a way to get to him.) All they can do is stare at each other (in a quite strong scene, as Roget Ebert noted). For Stephen, part of the appeal lies in unleashing the passion which he perhaps sublimated in his youth; there is also danger. Anna remains (mostly) a mystery; she has a tragedy in her youth involving her brother.
 The acting is marvelous – Binoche is exquisitely dressed, though some of those marvelous clothes are ripped off of her – she brings an exotic, androgynous and mysterious quality to the role of Anna. Irons is excellent as an up-tight father and half-crazed lover. […]
The last 30 minutes of this movie are some of the most shattering moments in film, and what makes them so shattering is not only the situation but the absolutely devastating, visceral, no holds barred performance by Miranda Richardson.
 “Damage” is, has been, and is going to be, a beautiful and interesting film to some. To others, it is, has been and is going to be cold and dull. Count me in as somebody in the former camp, while totally seeing why it won’t connect, and hasn’t connected, for others and am not in any way going to hold that against them.
 …the sex between Irons and Binoche is not there just to get the audience all hot and bothered. You have to look at it within the context of the story… […] From the moment they meet, they are both captive to an overwhelming, inexplicable passion, due to deep-seated, subconscious motivations stemming from each person’s individual history and emotional nature. It’s fairly clear from the mostly silent, often awkward, and sometimes almost painful-looking sex that they are not in it for the sheer physical sensation, or even to show affection/love for each other. They simply can’t help themselves.
-Excerpts from IMDb reviews
Obsession (Netflix: 2023) starring Richard Armitage, Charlie Murphy, Indira Varma, & Rish Shah
IF you haven’t watched this (TV-MA) miniseries yet, then don’t (you can thank me now)! IF you think that most of Netflix content is crap, this will NOT change your mind. There is so much wrong here, starting w/ the format of 4 eps at 40 mins/ea. Why drag it out!? This (simple) story doesn’t need to be broken down; as some reviewers said, it could’ve been a 90 min. movie. Secondly, there is almost zero character development (which pissed me off)! Next up, we have the (cringe-worthy) sex scenes which were (no joke) directed by a husband-wife team. There is NO chemistry btwn the two leads- Armitage (looking FAB over 50) and Murphy (who has a V odd hairstyle)! As y’all know, I’m a fan of Armitage, BUT he can’t save this on his own. The actor wears a look of confusion in a LOT of the “steamy” scenes. Some media execs still don’t realize that the script is the MOST important thing! Some of my pals (IRL and online) commented that they were impressed by Varma; she is TOO good for the material. This is a waste of talent! Nothing erotic. Nothing thrilling. Perhaps the worst element here is the (painfully) dramatic/loud musical score. OK, I have to stop, before I get TOO angry!
 This was a very un-sexy letdown, due to completely lacking writing and plot. I watched this for Richard Armitage who is, frankly, too good of an actor for such a lame script…
I understand that it’s labeled a thriller, but for such ominous music to be playing during supposedly passionate scenes is just bizarre and a huge turnoff. Am I gonna be jump-scared? It’s confusing.
 What a waste of talent. I even disliked Richard’s acting in this role. No on screen chemistry. I cared not what happened to anyone here. I wished there was a voice off the screen yelling “cut!”. “This is crap. I am not doing this.”
The female protagonist is totally unlikable. Totally. Unlikable. No internal substance. Nothing. […]
Oh- the intimate scenes were laughable at best. I cannot believe I actually fast forwarded through them. Yes. I skipped the supposed “juicy” parts. Not compelling. They were boring
 …there was nothing thrilling in this mini series. The biggest problem is that we are offered no character development – two people meet once and are immediately obsessed with each other abandoning all reason. […]
There is no real chemistry between the characters. The sex scenes are a frankly ridiculous – as if they were all choreographed by a socially-awkward person. The hotel pillow scene actually made laugh.
-Excerpts from IMDb reviews
2 thoughts on ““Damage” (1992) & “Obsession” (Netflix: 2023)”
Still haven’t brought myself to watch it …
MURPHY BROWN, DAN QUAYLE AND DAMAGE (EROTIC 90’S, PART 7) /MAY 8, 2023