The Pillow Book
The Pillow Book (1997)

The erotic exploits of a Japanese woman with an obsession for body writing provides the basis of this exotic, intellectually challenging and lushly executed drama from one of Britain's most off-beat filmmakers Peter Greenaway. Beautiful… More

Directed By:
Rated: NC-17
Running Time:
Release Date: June 6, 1997
DVD Release Date: December 15, 1998
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Critic Score: 66% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The Pillow Book is undeniably sensual and visually ravishing, but the film's narrative lacks the hypnotic pull of its imagery.

Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader

One of the most accomplished chapters in Peter Greenaway's quest to turn movies into books, this may be the writer-director's metaphorical autobiography.

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Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer

The Pillow Book is an experiment in the potential of film. It rejects convention and asks the viewer to forget traditions and entrenched assumptions. Those willing to go along will be hypnotized.

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Leah Rozen
People Magazine

Greenaway provides a visual feast, then he kills your appetite.

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

In The Pillow Book, text and texture meet so exquisitely. Sex is a visual art, Greenaway says, and writing is a matter of life and death.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

Greenaway is a dedicated aesthete and sensualist who creates his own little worlds of cruelty, delight and artistic trickery. With tremendous brio and skill, he cuts his patterns into our minds, tickling our skins with his brush.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

Seductive eye candy masquerading as thought-provoking art cinema.

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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News

It is exciting that in an age of mass book signings and disrespect for literature, Greenaway is able to sexualize the author's signature as it sweeps up a woman's neck.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

I can, with many reservations, recommend The Pillow Book for graphic artists and, of course, for Star Wars completists. People who simply can't get enough nudity might also want to take a look.

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Rod Dreher
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Pillow Book may be a dull, heartless, cruel film, but for what it's worth, it looks marvelous.

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More reviews for The Pillow Book

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Greg S
A beautiful woman is obsessed with inking characters on human flesh, making herself and her lovers into living books. Gorgeous and sensual, with layered images… More
xGary Xx
Greenaway is definitely an acquired taste; he IS painfully affected and pretentious, but his sumptuous visuals can more than make up for it, and this is… More
jay nixon
Well it was different that's for sure.
Megan S
This movie was pretty weird and slow at times, but it was beautiful and was very artistically shot. There was always a lot going on visually (pictures within… More
Tsubaki Sanjuro
Everytime i try to get into this film i encounter a solid wall that won't let me pass. Vivian Wu should be in more movies, naked if possible.
Dimitris Springer
Greenaway uses groundbreaking effects to showcase his influence in mathematics,fine arts,puzzles,juxtapositions and erotic flavor,thus making a visually… More