My Winnipeg - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Winnipeg Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2009
A visual poem about... well, Winnipeg. A fascinating projection of Guy Maddin's memories and personal mythologies about the city where he was born and raised, juxtaposed upon a fantastical recount of historical facts and urban legends with his trademark silent film aesthetic, grainy and ethereal. It's self-indulgent perhaps, but watching it is enrapturing like discovering a completely new world. A perfect example of how realities become extraordinary when observed through an extraordinary prism.
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2009
It sounds weird, but this is just the type of film I'd make if I were a filmmaker. It's like the dude voiced out my deepest, darkest, insomniacest sentiments and filmed it in a sort of hyper-nostalgic, Caligari surreal docudrama. It's a perfect homage to a weirdo town and you get the feeling the guy really, really loves living there. This is a GOOD movie.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2008
Fascinating poetic hymn to Maddin's home town which bombards you with captivating images as Maddin narrates. Mixes documentary footage with staged reenactments and surreal flights of fancy. A truly original visual and narrative style - Maddin deserves a wide audience.
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2011
One of the most inventive, unique, surreal, contemplative movies I have ever seen.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2009
He looks through his window. What does he see? What does he see?
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]Co-written, directed and narrated by Guy Maddin, "My Winnipeg" is the kind of movie that only the iconoclastic filmmaker could make as he imagines his first trip out of Winnipeg on a train taking the scenic route, bemoaning the loss of the city he once knew while also imagining a fantastic mystical alternate history for it. As cities grow older, they attempt to look newer, losing old landmarks in the process that are missed by longtime residents and Winnipeg is no different. While trying to sort through the city's history, he takes a shot at his own, renting his childhood home at 800 Ellice Avenue, with his actress mother(Ann Savage) playing herself, and hiring actors to play his siblings. What Maddin is trying to do is to figure out how much living above a hair salon may have affected him growing up. What definitely played a large part in his development like most of his fellow countrymen is hockey and it is the loss of the Jets that he saves most of his ire for.(Hey, you would be angry too if you lost your hockey team to Phoenix.) And I do not mean to nitpick anything that is not meant to be taken literally but the Jets were originally in the WHA, one of four teams that made it into the NHL, of which the Oilers are the only one that did not move south.[/font]
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2008
Enough Guy Maddin. I'm sure there will be plenty of people who rave about your cinematic triumphs which are visually interesting for about half an hour. Then the headaches start. Please, please, please...give us something something just a wee bit enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2008
Its impossible to describe unless you've seen it. Guy Maddin's film is a fantasy documentary full of bizarre tales about his hometown and his mother. Whats true and what isn't does not matter and I think it is tied with Synecdoche New York for the most original film of 2008.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2010
Easily my favourite Guy Maddin film that I've seen thus far. I guess I'd classify this as a documentary, albeit one like you've never seen before. The narration is great. There's some animated segments as well. Some very funny dark humour humour throughout (I havent laughed so hard at movie in a really long time) That vintage old tyme, surrealist look. I suspect some inspiration from 50's/60's Cold War Era propaganda films. Really can't think of anything negative to say about this one. Probably one of the best films to come out in the past 10 years or so.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2010
What might amount to Guy Maddin's own 8 1/2 is a ''docu-fantasia'' alright : passionate and playful, it is brimming with marvelous cinematic flashes and it carries quite an emotional resonance; a very surprising feat since it is an unabashedly subjective work of art. This is, like most of the director's work, a love-it-or-hate-it affair-- so I'm not going to hide the fact that am completely head over heels about this affectionate and delirious dream diary. One to add to your shortlist for sure.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2008
A fantasy/documentary on Maddin's hometown of Winnipeg. It's a very personal film but it was engaging and fascinating throughout. Maddin's Winnipeg is one of sleepwalkers, frozen horse heads, the academy of the ultra-vixens and man-pageants, and I didn't feel like leaving it. My favourite Guy Maddin film so far.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2008
Fascinating and original bio/docu of Winnipeg told by Guy Maddin. Very dreamlike and almost surreal.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2008
Thanks to a wonderful birthday present from my wife I was lucky enough to see this great documentary with narration from Guy Maddin himself. The problem is, will it ever be able to live up to the first viewing? I'm willing to give it more than one shot.
A documentary in the style of Bunel's Land Without Bread mixed with Maddin's amazing, dreamlike narration shows Winnipeg as it's never been seen before. Maddin has always considered Winnipeg a magical place worthy of mythical stories and this film makes the audience fall in love not only with Winnipeg but Maddin's bizarre memory of his childhood. A great film told with incredible style and humour and one of my favourite movie going experiences. Excellent. Plus the editing was fantastic.
½ January 31, 2009
Part documentary, part biography. Maddin's My Winnipeg is love and hate. It seems his feelings towards his hometown are like those of an older brother towards his younger: "It's okay for me to make fun of him, but if you do, you're asking for it!" It is poetic and balletic, however oftentimes too much so. The narration is splendid. His writing is wonderful with many golden lines. Yet, visually, it is a mishmash. I understand why he chose it, I do. Frankly, there are some visual moments that work fantastically, mainly those NOT involving the train car. But for me, I'd much rather have listened than seen.
September 7, 2008
Another romp through the psyche of director Guy Maddin, once again using psuedo-autobiographical form as he did in BRAND UPON THE BRAIN. This time, it's a travelogue of his youth in Winnipeg and his attempts to get out of the city. As Guy's movies always are, it's quirky, filmed in black and white with that silent film look, and overall, an interesting if somewhat bizarre experience.
June 26, 2008
Told like a first person, stream of thought documentary with plenty of nostalgia, but often veers off into bizarre "fantasies". I use "" because some of the weird stuff like the horses and the "What If" part Maddin actually confirms as truth in an interview I read. I liked Maddin's montage style, the throwback cinematic technique, and the pseudo-noirish narration. His often queer little stories are funny and imaginative. The ending is so silly.
½ June 23, 2008
Odd, lyrical, poetry. Basically an 85 minute essay about the city of Winnipeg. Strangely interesting. Don't expect a plot because there isn't one.
March 27, 2008
This was a Winner - Best Canadian Film
at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival.

Have you ever wanted to relive your childhood and do things differently? Guy Maddin (THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD) casts B-movie icon Ann Savage and his domineering mother in attempt to answer that question in MY WINNPEG, a hilariously wacky and profoundly touching goodbye letter to his childhood hometown.

I can say with absolute authority that you've never seen a film like Guy Maddin's love/hate/goodbye letter to his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Part real documentary and part drop-dead hysterical farce, Maddin's narration leads you through traumatic re-enactments of his childhood, the city's loss of iconic institutions like Eatons and the Jets, and bizarre facts about its citizens being much more likely to sleepwalk than those of any other city on the planet. All over humorously ominous music. It's almost more performance art than a movie -- a distinction that will be made even clearer when Maddin narrated this live during the festival's official premiere in 07 at the T fest. But to call it that shortchanges Maddin's unique ability to cobble together images in a distinctive way that makes his films immediately recognizable.

This is sure to be a classic, A must see.

Vmedia UCB Berkeley Ca
July 29, 2015
I have been a fan of Guy Maddin since my college "daze" but I don't think I gained a true understanding of what he does as a film artist until I was older. His work is "tripy" and constantly shift from "Horror" to "Dark Comedy" -- while always offering an enticing beauty. "The Saddest Music in the World" would prove to be his most "accessible" work. With that film, he emerged from the fringes of his earlier shorts and experimental films. Interestingly, as good as that film was it is far from being one of his best films. Following the Art House success of "Saddest Music" he would go on to create his two most powerful films, "Brand Upon The Brain" and this film from 2007, "My Winnipeg."

I had the pleasure of seeing "My Winnipeg" before it was released to the film festival circuit and it's all too-limited US release. While "Brand Upon the Brain" was a fascinating experiment, "My Winnipeg" takes the "form" of a documentary. This "formation" features re-enactments of Maddin's "personal memory" and of Winnipeg's eccentric "history." Utilizing his standard devices of long ago abandoned cinematic tricks. This is not a documentary that can be accepted as "truth" -- this is an artist's re-invented collection of memories that he has bent, twisted and often self-created or imagined.

The late Roger Ebert wrote an incredible review of "My Winnipeg" that captured my own viewpoints far better than I could ever articulate. I still remember a very key comment Ebert gave in his review. I don't remember it well enough to quote, but it was very easy to find it on-line. I highly encourage you seek Ebert's review of this odd but effective film prior to seeing it.

Roger Ebert wrote, that Winnipeg's "city fathers commissioned it [the film] as a documentary, to be made by "the mad poet of Manitoba," as a Canadian magazine termed him. Maddin has never left his hometown, although judging by this film, it has left him."

That one sentence frames Maddin's incredible film perfectly. We never doubt that Maddin loves and his proud of "his" Winnipeg, but he rejects the idea of creating the "documentary" for which he was commissioned in favor of a surreal glimpse back into what might be a collective feeling of a city long gone. And he is without question is examining an idea of himself via what are very likely "false memories" of his own childhood. I call these memories "false" because they are so absurd it is hard to take them literally.

In many ways it feels is if his "mom" is more a symbol of Winnipeg than a maternal relation. Maddin has also never shied away from a conflicted view of repressed homosexuality. I do not mean to imply anything regarding Maddin's real sexuality, but his work continually pulls his audience to the attention of a vague interest in "latent homosexuality" --- it appears to be a source of conflict and humor. This is not a politically offensive "conflict" or "humor." It is expressed as both a sort of longing and curiosity.

The role of women in Maddin's work is also a sort of riddle. The female characters tend to share maternal instincts as much as they offer sexual pleasure and danger. Once again, this is not misogyny. The idea of women is a source of conflict within Maddlin's cinematic world.

"My Winnipeg" offers the perfect formation of Guy Maddin's eccentric, dark, disturbing and often funny ideas and style. This is a fully formed world in which we are placed. And it is a rewarding experience.

After the film ends, I feel as if I need to re-adjust my vision. And the lonesome laments of Maddin's brilliant film lingers forever in my memory.

Cinematic magic. And a true Cinematic Masterpiece that defies "genre" -- Criterion has done an outstanding job at transferring this film. Finger-crossed that they are soon able to do the same with "Brand Upon The Brain!" -- a magical film that Criterion has released to DVD offering alternate audio versions of a re-imaginning of the silent film.

Just as he is when you talk with him, his film's are bizarre -- but somehow grounded in a reality that is uniquely his own. While they might offers horror, there is a sense that he loves every character and every shot.
½ July 22, 2014
Half documental, half personal vision, maybe an experimental film, anyway a captivating one about the Canadian city of Winnipeg and the personal story of Guy Maddin. Historic footage, strange events along the time linked with the director's dreams.
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