The Saddest Music in the World
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Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin directs The Saddest Music in the World, reworked from an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro. Set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, the film involves a contest announced by the legless and glamorous Lady Port-Huntly (Isabella Rossellini) to find the saddest music in the world. She's hoping the contest will result in increased sales of her company's brand of beer. American theatrical producer Chester Kent (Mark McKinney) shows up to win the contest with his kooky show-business idea, while brother Roderick Kent (Ross McMillan) returns from the war.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Watch this movie for its imagination, not its logic."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"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?"
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"The film's expressionist style and lighting design provide it with an immaculate richness of visual textures."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"The finest portrayal of a double-amputee beer baroness outfitted with glass-encased, beer-filled legs that I could imagine."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Requires an acquired taste for such inspired but unwieldy madness."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Silly, sick and surreal, it's a triumph of style over message or entertainment value."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Provocative title, provocative premise, provocative direction, routine movie."
‑ Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News
"Here is magic-realism filtered through an oddball sensibility, chilled in the snowdrifts of Winnipeg and bottled in amber-hued frames of celluloid."
‑ Brian Gibson, Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
"One of those metaphoric weird-out flicks that takes mors pride in shocking than telling an interesting tale."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"A Guy Maddin film is so visually inventive, so full of rich detail, and so prismatic in appearance that attempting to describe it is like trying to explain the color blue."
‑ Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"The weirdest movie of the summer. OK, the year."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"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."
‑ Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Crammed with cinephilic allusion and rendered in an obsessive "authentic" period style..."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"When a director's "primitive" style is as developed as Maddin's, your aesthetic response can seem like all the emotion you need, his thrill your thrill."
‑ Alan Dale,
"Guy Maddin's snow globe cinema, hermetically sealed in ghostly adoration of silent cinema, is well matched to this darkly comic fable."
‑ Joshua Vasquez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Saddest Music in the World on Rotten Tomatoes