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Montenegro

Montenegro (1981)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 861

My Rating

Movie Info

Marilyn Jordan (Susan Anspach), an American-born housewife, mother, and socialite living in Sweden, is crumbling under the weight of her own existence. She deeply resents her husband Martin's (Erland Josephson) frequent holiday absences and his indifferent attitude toward their two children ("If they are going to grow up in today's world," he admits, "it's about time they faced the fact that nobody keeps promises anymore"). Moreover, Marilyn's eccentric father (who believes he is Buffalo Bill

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Sep 11, 2001

Atlantic Releasing Corporation

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (1)

If it begins deceptively, as though setting out to be your typically angst-ridden Swedish art movie, by the time it's reached its set of climaxes,Makavejev's film could not have strayed further from the beaten track.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There can be something absolutely liberating about a movie that makes up its rules as it goes along.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A halfheartedly Surreal comedy filled with forced high spirits, unconvincing lunacies and failed sight gags.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A paean to the liberating power of dirt, as in both grime and smut.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first half of Montenegro seems to be a parody of Ingmar Bergman films, where characters wallow instead of doing anything about their problems. It's no accident that director Dusan Makajevev cast Bergman-regular Erland Josephson as the miserly husband.

September 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

The screen's most good-natured slaughter of familial order

June 4, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Weirdly entertaining black comedy, that's not for all tastes.

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This funny and subversive film is by no means as unwatchable as some people have made Makavejev's work out to be.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A dish for the discerning palate.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The beginning of the movie is extremely engrossing, but just when you think Susan's journey is going to amount to something, Makavejev resorts to his old shock-value tricks.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Montenegro

Upon hearing "Montenegro"'s thumbnail plot (essentially, "Bored Housewife Gone Wild"), I anticipated writer/director Dusan Makavejev -- creator of the insanely hedonistic "Sweet Movie" and "W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism" -- depicting all sorts of unspeakable debauchery. Given these expectations, "Montenegro" is surprisingly tame. Sure, there is a sex act in a mound of grain, a suggested three-way between unlikely partners, a shocking use of poison, a friendly man with a knife embedded in his forehead and an unforgettable burlesque dance (the girl courts a toy military tank with an "erect" vibrator attached), but otherwise? Appalling table manners are about as bad as it gets. Toss in a contraband pig carcass and a grandfather who thinks he's Buffalo Bill, if you like. Regardless, I doubt the film had any trouble avoiding an "X" rating, even though the story sounds like a classic pornography template.

Susan Anspach is Marilyn Jordan, wife of a wealthy but inattentive businessman (Ingmar Bergman stalwart Erland Josephson). Obviously frustrated with a pampered lifestyle where her biggest problem is a lynx coat's excessive shedding, she has been acting out in strange ways. When she spontaneously decides to accompany her husband on a short trip, there is an unexpected security issue and she misses the flight. Detained at the airport, she finds herself bonding with some Yugoslavian gypsies, who end up whisking her away to their odd, isolated compound. The troop's raucous celebrations are a refreshing novelty, and she releases her inhibitions. The results are alternately delightful and disturbing.

Bless his warped heart, Makavejev remains cheerfully tasteless and clumsy as a director. The story takes far too long to heat up (about 45 minutes), and the musical score is typically goofy. There are extreme facial closeups, awkward insertions of animal footage (it's, like, metaphorical) and plenty of overacted scenes (particularly in the case of Per Oscarsson's effete psychiatrist). As for time-dated content, we also get two ABBA tunes and some awful '70s perms. Still, the film's ending is so good that you'll forgive most of the earlier mishaps.
February 21, 2012
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Crazy, crazy, crazy lady, and based on a true story to boot.
May 21, 2008
FanGirl
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