Philip Kaufman's 1990 film Henry & June based on Anaïs Nin's own diaries reveals some truly unconventional biopics with delicate sexual frankness and exquisite vintage details, so typical of his movies. The story of her complicated relationship with Henry and June Miller takes place in Paris in the early '30s. Anaïs, delicately played by Maria de Medeiros (who would go on to play Bruce Willis's French girlfriend in Pulp Fiction), is deep into the gender and sexuality studies by D.H.Lawrence when she meets Henry (Fred Ward), who is working on his Tropic of Cancer at that time. While his restless wife June (Uma Thurman) is desperately trying to get some publishers interested in the book despite its objectionable content, Henry falls in love with Anaïs, who is inspiring, supporting and critisizing him at one at the same time.

Henry & June appears to be an ideal subject matter for Kaufman, whose previous film was The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which also dealt with a thorny love triangle. The one in this film threatens to become a thorny love quadrangle when Nin returns to her husband and, having been sexually liberated, she pushes for a thorny love pentangle when she takes up with her cousin. With all those thorns, someone's bound to get hurt…


// from Henry and June by Philip Kaufman