"...Original in every sense....[Viewers] will embrace its thematic and stylistic complexity..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life -
"...A loopy contemporary comedy....Winslet gives a particularly bold, uninhibited and magnetic performance..."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/25/2000
"...Winslet is the rare actress who can rage at the heavens and reach for them at the same time....[HOLY SMOKE! Is] a knockabout fusion..." -- Rating: B
Premiere - 09/01/2000
"...Provocative, frequently hilarious....[Winslet and Keitel] stray into territory that lesser (and less courageous) actors would avoid..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Los Angeles Times - 12/03/1999
"...A high-risk, darkly comic triumph....[The] film traverses a tremendous range of emotional terrain....At once hilarious and serious, cruel and tender, and bristling with vitality, HOLY SMOKE is the right movie for the millennium..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/11/2000
"...Winslet and Keitel are both interesting in the film..."
USA Today - 08/11/2000
"...The real story in this underrated original is Keitel's co-star, Kate Winslet. Sexy, snotty, vulnerable, and, above all, contentious, her character is the catalyst..."
In this wildly inventive film from director Jane Campion (THE PIANO), Kate Winslet stars as Ruth, a headstrong Australian woman determined to get back to India in time to join a group marriage to her guru. Her family, hoping to break the cult leader's psychic grip on Ruth, hires P.J. (Harvey Keitel), a macho American deprogramming expert teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown. A no-holds-barred battle of the psyches, cultures, and sexes ensues as P.J. and Ruth fight, connive, and eventually fall into bed together in what becomes a mutual search for individual truth. The strong performances of the two stars, a hilariously offbeat script (cowritten by Campion and her sister, Anna), and a wealth of delicious, texture-enhancing flourishes (including some surreal bits of computer animation, Pam Grier's work in a small role as P.J.'s partner, and a wild opening sequence set to Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy") combine to make HOLY SMOKE! a weird, winning blend of goofy comedy and hallucinatory mysticism.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.:
Kate Winslet (TITANIC, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY) and Harvey Keitel (U-571, PULP FICTION) add scintillating performances to a seductive, darkly hilarious motion picture that's met with overwhelming critical acclaim! While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barroin (Winslet) falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters (Keitel), a macho cult deprogrammer, who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent, and iron-willed Ruth! Another memorable motion picture directed by Academy Award(R)-winner Jane Campion -- you'll feel an undeniable comic charge from the sparks that fly as PJ and Ruth face off in an electric battle of the sexes.
An Australian girl joins a religious cult in India, attains spiritual enlightenment, and then is lured back to her country and trapped by a deprogramming specialist in this highly imaginative film from director Jane Campion.
HOLY SMOKE premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1999 (where director Jane Campion won the Elvira Notari Prize) and had its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival the same year.
Filmed in Australia and India.
In a Filmbill interview conducted by Nicole McEwan, Kate Winslet said, "I would never accept a role that wasn't going to stretch me or challenge me in some way. I'd say HOLY SMOKE! probably did that more than anything I'd ever done. It took me to places I didn't actually know I could go to, and that's what I want my career to be all about."