The Saddest Music in the World
The Saddest Music in the World (2004)

During the Winnipeg depression era, two brothers try to determine the saddest piece of music in the world, as part of an international competition announced by a double-amputee beer baroness Lady Port-Huntly to boost alcohol consumption.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: November 16, 2004
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 78% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Guy Maddin perfectly recreates the look and feel of a 1930s in this bizarre picture.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

Watch this movie for its imagination, not its logic.

Full review…
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

From time to time during the 99-minute running time, I kept thinking of those old Off Off Broadway impositions on wriggly audiences -- or was it just me who was the transplanted Village square trapped among all the hipsters?

Cole Smithey

The film's expressionist style and lighting design provide it with an immaculate richness of visual textures.

Full review…
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

Silly, sick and surreal, it's a triumph of style over message or entertainment value.

Full review…
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News

Provocative title, provocative premise, provocative direction, routine movie.

Full review…
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Here is magic-realism filtered through an oddball sensibility, chilled in the snowdrifts of Winnipeg and bottled in amber-hued frames of celluloid.

Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

The weirdest movie of the summer. OK, the year.

Full review…
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

To fully appreciate the lunatic possibilities of the film medium, consider the spectacle of Isabella Rossellini frisking around on hollow glass legs filled with sparkling beer.

Full review…
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Crammed with cinephilic allusion and rendered in an obsessive "authentic" period style...

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 79% Flixster User Reviews
Greg S
A legless Canadian beer magnate (Isabella Rosselini) holds a contest during the Great Depression to discover the titular music; the bout attracts a musical… More
Robert C
Five words: Isabella Rossellini Glass Beer Legs. I turely imaginative and funny story about broken hearts, revenge and capitalism.
Drew Smith
Watched this as part of my avant-garde film class. Because I am lazy, here is the response I wrote: Since taking this class, I've developed an odd… More
vieras esine
I have to say, this is easily the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I loved the 1930's feel of the movie, and how America's "competetor(s)"… More
Michael S
I haven't viewed much of Guy Maddin's work, but after seeing THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, I'm not in any hurry too. I really liked the… More
Michael Gildea
A little goofy, kind of enjoyable and kind of dry. Catch it if you can but don't go out of your way.