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The dark days of the Depression set the stage for surreal black comedy in this "intoxicating" (Time) musical melodrama from acclaimed director Guy Maddin. When a legless beer baroness (Isabella Rossellini) in Winnipeg announces a contest to find the world's saddest tune, a pint of trouble brews among a fractured family competing for the $25,000 prize. As the disturbing depths of the linksbetween each other, the baroness and an amnesiac nymphomaniac are exposed, one thing becomes clear:It will take more than a pool of alcohol to drown their sorrows!
Only the mind of Guy Maddin could conjure up The Saddest Music in the World, in which a double-amputee beer baroness invites musicians of all nations to compete in a grand music competition... in Winnipeg. The only thing zanier than the plot is Maddin's style, which makes the film look like a lost artifact from the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari era, a jumble of Expressionist compositions and gauzy focus. It helps if you're already a fan of the director of Careful and Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary, for this is not Maddin's most cohesive picture. Kids in the Hall stalwart Mark McKinney is a little too arch as a sharpie returning to Manitoba, but Isabella Rossellini is delicious as the "Beer Queen of the Prairie." By the time she straps on a pair of hollow glass legs filled with bubbly lager, you're either delighted by this movie or you've given up. --Robert Horton
A surreal wonderful blending of Busby Berkeley, Luis Bunuel, a 1930's "documentary" on marijuana of venereal disease with a little early Nation Geographic television added... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Thomas J. Bradley
I tend to love any non-Hollywood type movie if for no other reason than I like to actually be surprised. I love movies without all the Hollywood cliches. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Michael Bush
I rented this based on the description and the IMDB rating...I should have done more research. I couldn't make it past 20 minutes. Read morePublished 18 months ago by James
Guy Maddin's work really defies description. Words fall short. I'll try.
Script: quirky and understatedly hilarious. Performances: Quirky and understatedly hilarious. Read more
Really unwatchable. Mark McKinney not so good. Idea not so good. Visually annoying. Trying too hard to be something interesting. Fail.Published on March 12, 2013 by daddygene
Crazy, Beautiful, Poignent, Tounge in Cheek, wonderful, thoughtful,, I lvoe this movie ever so much! Great Costumes and music and best of all.. Lady Porthuntleys Beer!Published on January 18, 2013 by Jackie
Not for everyone, but for those who are out there. and like something unique, artistic and original: this is among the best. I laughed, I cried.Published on December 19, 2012 by david burton