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10.01.12

The Year of Kinky Movie Sex: ‘The Master,’ ‘The Paperboy,’ ‘On the Road,’ & More

From Nicole Kidman peeing on former Disney kid Zac Efron in The Paperboy, which opens Friday, to that scene with Amy Adams in The Master, many of this year’s awards-bait films are upping the kink factor. (SPOILER ALERT!)

During a pivotal scene in The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s engrossing psychological drama based (in part) on the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the charismatic mystic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is gazing at himself in the mirror. His cunning wife, Peggy (played by the oft-bubbly Amy Adams), has been sensing an animal-like attraction between her husband and an unstable drifter, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix). In order to mitigate his urges, she unzips his trousers, locks eyes with his reflection, and gives him a furious hand-job. “Cum for me,” she says. 

And this masochistic sex act, delivered by none other than the princess from Enchanted, is just the tip of the … iceberg. 

Whereas last year, amid all the priggish costume dramas, the only film during awards season that got movie-going audiences all hot and bothered was the NC-17-rated Shame, which featured its star Michael Fassbender urinating on camera and engaged in a raunchy three-way sex scene that included a rare “tossed salad,” this year’s batch of Oscar hopefuls boasts a plethora of sex acts ranging from the impressive to the downright bizarre. Call it the Fifty Shades of Grey effect. 

Over the summer, audiences gagged at the sight of Gina Gershon forcibly fellating a chicken leg situated in the crotch of a psycho killer, played by Matthew McConaughey, in William Friedkin’s impressive dark comedy, Killer Joe. And in another McConaughey film, the male-stripping extravaganza Magic Mike, randy viewers were treated to a close-up shot of Big Dick Richie (True Blood hunk Joe Manganiello) inflating his gigantic penis in a pump. 

This year’s crop of fall film releases courting Oscar can be divided into two distinct categories: hand-jobs and the handicapped.

In addition to Amy Adams’s gripping scene in The Master, there is quite possibly the hand-job of the decade given in Walter Salles’s adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s celebrated novel, On the Road, in theaters Dec. 21. 

Still mourning the loss of his father, struggling writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) and his hero, the irresistible firebrand Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) are traveling cross country with one of Moriarty’s many squeezes, Marylou, played by Kristen Stewart. Marylou is a lascivious and incredibly naïve teen, so when Moriarty suggests he has “a great idea” to entertain the trio on the road, she happily obliges. The camera then cuts to the three travelers naked in the car from the top up—with Stewart’s chest exposed—as Marylou simultaneously strokes both Paradise and Moriarty. 

Even former commanders-in-chief get in on the action. In Hyde Park on Hudson, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) had been a perfect gentleman to his fifth cousin, Margaret Suckley (Laura Linney)—that is, until he abruptly stops his snazzy car in the middle of a field of flowers, unzips his fly, and looks away, leaving the manual labor to his astonished distant relative.   

FDR, portrayed as quite the ladies’ man in the film, is just one of many physically disabled characters brought to life in Oscar-worthy turns that involve plenty of action between the sheets. In Rust and Bone, directed by the brilliant French filmmaker Jacques Audiard (A Prophet), Marion Cotillard plays Stéphanie—a nightclub temptress-cum-killer whale trainer who loses her legs in a terrible accident. Soon after, she begins a sexual relationship with a temperamental pugilist (Matthias Schoenaerts) that blossoms into a full-fledged romance. Thanks to some nifty CGI work, Cotillard appears genuinely leg-less during the couple’s many steamy sexual encounters. The role should garner Cotillard her second Oscar nomination for Best Actress, following her win as Edith Piaf in another French-language film, 2007’s La Vie en Rose

This year’s crop of fall film releases courting Oscar can be divided into two distinct categories: hand-jobsandthe handicapped.

Last but not least, there is The Sessions, based on a true story. John Hawkes gives an award-worthy turn as the poet Mark O’Brien, who hires a “sex surrogate,” played by a very nude Helen Hunt, to help him lose his virginity. O’Brien is in an iron lung, having been paralyzed from the neck down due to polio, which complicates matters considerably. 

In a film that opens this Friday, Nicole Kidman delivers her best performance in years as Charlotte Bless in The Paperboy, filmmaker Lee Daniels’s follow-up to 2009’s Precious. Bless is a moody Southern sexpot who’s fallen in love with a stranger on death row for murder, played by John Cusack. She hires two reporters from out of town, Jack (Zac Efron) and Ward Jansen (McConaughey), to investigate the case and exonerate her love. The racy film caused a stir when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival due to a scene where Kidman urinates on former Disney kid Efron after he’s stung by a jellyfish—this in addition to a scene where Kidman simulates sex with Cusack in a prison visitation room as well as McConaughey, who plays a closeted fella into some serious S&M. 

But oh, there’s more.  

Steve Buscemi pops up in a brief cameo as a creepy driver who pays Hedlund’s Moriarty for some intense anal sex—all captured on camera—in On the Road; and in that same film, the aforementioned Adams simulates fellatio on her hand. Then, in Compliance, cutesy actress Dreama Walker is subjected to a series of degradations by an alleged cop on the other end of the phone, including: naked jumping jacks, spanking, and ultimately, performing oral sex on the manager’s fiancé, played by Bill Camp. 

Since the movies have long held a mirror to the society that creates them, are filmmakers—and subsequently audiences—becoming more open-minded when it comes to onscreen kink? Everyone from teens to grandmothers has embraced the S&M fantasy Fifty Shades of Grey, after all. 

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a shadowy organization comprised of “normal people,” serves as Hollywood’s ratings board for films—determining just how much sex and violence is suitable for audiences. It’s no secret that the MPAA has held a longstanding bias against sexual fare vis-à-vis violence, often awarding “R” ratings to terribly gruesome fare, while bestowing the occasional cursed “NC-17” rating to films boasting racy sex scenes (many theaters refuse to carry films bearing an NC-17). This puzzling practice was covered extensively in Kirby Dick’s eye-opening 2006 documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Maybe they’ll loosen up a bit and stop being such squares? 

For that, we’ll have to wait till 2013’s Nymphomaniac, which allegedly features unsimulated (read: real) sex between former Disney kid Shia LaBeouf and Charlotte Gainsbourg. 

The times they are a-changin’.