June 30, 1997 12:00 PM

Ewan McGregor, Vivian Wu

Trainspotting star McGregor, a terrific actor who’ll no doubt achieve intergalactic fame as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the next Star Wars epic, here plays a human doodle pad. Wu, a Japanese fashion model in Hong Kong, has a fetish for having her whole body painted with elaborate calligraphy. When no artist displays sufficient penmanship to satisfy her, she decides to wield the brush herself, with McGregor, a translator and bisexual who falls in love with her, serving as stationery. The movie is, like just about everything else from director Peter Greenaway (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover), exquisitely designed and sexually graphic, moving at a glacial but mesmerizing pace to a stomach-churning denouement. Greenaway provides a visual feast, then he kills your appetite. What gives? (Not rated)

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