Still of Jeremy Irons and Miranda Richardson in DamageStill of Jeremy Irons and Miranda Richardson in DamageStill of Jeremy Irons in DamageStill of Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons in DamageStill of Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons in Damage


A member of Parliament falls passionately in love with his son's fiancée despite the dangers of discovery.

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 6.7/10 (6,698 voted)

Louis Malle

Stars: Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson

A member of Parliament (Irons) falls passionately in love with his son's fiancée. They pursue their affair with obsessive abandon despite the dangers of discovery and what it would do to his complacent life and his son. Completely obsessed, he wants to give up his current lifestyle to be with her. She has no intention of allowing him to do this, preferring to have her marriage to the son as a cover. They are eventually discovered, and must deal with the damage. Based on the novel by Josephine Hart.

Writers: David Hare, Josephine Hart


Jeremy Irons

Dr. Stephen Fleming

Juliette Binoche

Anna Barton

Miranda Richardson

Ingrid Fleming

Rupert Graves

Martyn Fleming

Ian Bannen

Edward Lloyd

Peter Stormare

Peter Wetzler

Gemma Clarke

Sally Fleming

Julian Fellowes

Donald Lyndsay, MP

Leslie Caron

Elizabeth Prideaux

Tony Doyle

Prime Minister

Ray Gravell


(as Raymond Gravell)

Susan Engel

Miss Snow

David Thewlis


Benjamin Whitrow

Civil Servant

Jeff Nuttall

Trevor Leigh Davies MP

The most talked about novel of the year is now the most talked about film of the year.

Release Date: 22 January 1993

Filming Locations: London, England, UK

Gross: $7,532,911

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The Part of the Prime Minster's Aide was going to be played by Stephen Beard but shortly before filming he was replaced by Barry Stearn.


When Stephen is in the bathtub, Ingrid's arm suddenly changes position between shots.


Anna Barton:
Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

User Review

A brilliant but misunderstood film


I'm mainly posting this because I've been reading the other comments here,
and I just had to respond. While a movie's quality is (for the most part)
subjective and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, I must say that
those who thoroughly panned this movie have really demonstrated how little
imagination most people have, and their lack of appreciation for subtlety
film or any other artistic medium is readily apparent.

For all the talk about the sex scenes in this movie and how they're
laughable, or not erotic or whatever, no one is getting the point: the sex
between Irons and Binoche is not there just to get the audience all hot
bothered. You have to look at it within the context of the story: these
people are not just out to get laid, to satisfy some momentary sexual
They didn't say, Oh, hey, you look hot, I'd sure like to bang you. From
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. Through
sex with each other they appear to be working out their own individual
a sense of loss or longing for something they are unable to express any
other way, and the physical act is almost incidental. Whether they betray
or hurt anyone else is beside the point. Each is damaged, and this is how
they attempt to repair that damage, but it's a hopeless cause. This is
the sex comes off for the most part as passionless, futile, and far from
pleasurable. These are not happy, normal people–they cannot experience
much real pleasure the way the average person does. The sex, in service
the story and the characters, is portrayed just as it should

'Damage' a terrible film with bad acting? Nonsense. Even if you don't
it, i.e., it's just not to your taste, it's really impossible to deny that
this movie is well done in every respect, and when it comes down to it,
is the only real criterion for judging the merit of any work of art. Did
all the elements of the movie work to get across what the filmmaker was
trying to do? Absolutely. Most people seem to be judging this movie based
on their own petty, immature biases developed over years of watching
brainless, formula movies: do I like this actor's voice or looks; am I
turned on by this actress's body; are these people and the things they do
and say close enough to my own ideas about what people are like and how
should behave; does this movie let me remain in my safe, shallow, ignorant
bubble of conformity and enjoy my microwave popcorn on the couch? I'm
amazed when people talk about how there are no characters to 'like' in a
movie. Who cares? This should not be the point of any work of art. Life
does not always present us with likable people, and neither does art.
Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche and Miranda Richardson are all superb.
Richardson's intensity is mesmerizing, and Irons and Binoche communicate
incredible depths to each other and the audience with the smallest gesture
or a seemingly pedestrian line, proving that less is almost always more.
Watch Irons early on as he portrays his character's quiet sense of
desperation and yearning to break out of his comfortable but dead
as though all his life he's been out of place, wondering how he got there
but unable to articulate it. Binoche has few lines most of the time but
doesn't need them: she shows convincingly with her face and movements an
entire world of desolation and pain in Anna, along with the fierce drive
carries to maintain some semblance of hope in her life. This is all also
due of course to the script and the direction. Besides all this it's also
an incredibly stylish and gorgeous movie to look at. I don't know how
anyone with any imagination or perceptiveness could find this movie boring
or badly done. All in all, I highly recommend this film for a mature,
sensitive, and powerful look at human relations and behavior. It's almost
mythic in its ability to convey a sense of inevitability and emotional
devastation. Brilliant, and hard to forget.