Maelstrom (2000)

Maelstrom

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

Love, death, and fish all mingle in this offbeat comedy-drama from award-winning Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. Bibiane Champagne (Marie-Josee Croze) is the daughter of a well-known fashion designer who dabbles in modeling when she's not busy helping to run the family business with her brother Phillippe (Bobby Beshro). But Bibiane has not been especially happy in her work lately, owing in part to an unexpected pregnancy that led her to have an abortion. Bibiane tries drowning her sorrows … More

Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 8, 2003
Runtime:
Arrow Releasing

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Cast


as Bibiane Champagne

as Claire Gunderson

as The Fish

as Stranger in Subway

as Marie-Jeanne Sirois

as Photographer
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Critic Reviews for Maelstrom

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (14)

Strange it is, but delightfully so.

Full Review… | August 1, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Darkly funny and frequently insightful.

Full Review… | June 6, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

An original little film about one young woman's education.

Full Review… | May 10, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This is a nervy, risky film, and Villeneuve has inspired Croze to give herself over completely to the tormented persona of Bibi.

Full Review… | April 5, 2002
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Maelstrom is strange and compelling, engrossing and different, a moral tale with a twisted sense of humor.

Full Review… | March 29, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Sensual, funny and, in the end, very touching.

March 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Maelstrom

½

...

YLOWBSTARDreturns
Michael S

Super Reviewer

½

A young woman's life unravels when she has an abortion, then a few days later hits a pedestrian with her car and flees in a panic. MAELSTROM is not for anyone seeking a traditional narrative: it's an arty, surrealistic, impressionistic portrait of guilt, narrated by a fish telling the story with his last breath as he waits to be gutted and turned into seafood.

366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

As narrated by a fish with its head on the chopping block, "Maelstrom" starts with Bibi(Marie-Josee Croze) having an abortion. Afterwards, her best friend Claire(Stephanie Morgenstern) cares for her while she prays at the porcelain temple. Bibi's work life is not that much better as the Montreal boutique she owns with her partner Philippe(Bobby Beshro) has been having its share of thefts, causing them to hire security guards. That's not to mention the large amount of money she owes. And if you think she is having a bad day, imagine that of the guy(Klimbo) she hits with her car on the way home from a bar.

A short time ago, I mentioned that "Rubber" was the oddest movie I had seen in quite a while. That probably has something to do with the lack of Canadian movies I have seen lately. Because "Maelstrom" has it all, including occasional intertitles, a diverse musical score that leans Scandinavian, and a complex chronal storyline which adds perspective. All of which is not as heavy as it sounds.

At first, I was prepared to connect Denis Villeneuve's more recent feature "Incendies" to "Maelstrom" through a common theme of how all life is sacred. However, the truth could not be any more different, as the movie is edgily profound in how it states we are all part of the same cycle of life and death, so relax. Notice for example, how matter of factly the abortion scene is filmed, without any judgment, no less. That fits in well with the movie's intelligent thoughts on guilt and forgiveness, as Bibi has a hard time getting completely clean.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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