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Passion Fish (1992)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,782

My Rating

Movie Info

With his trademark emphasis on character development and dialogue, writer/director John Sayles tells the story of May-Alice Culhane (Mary McDonnell), a New York soap opera actress left paralyzed by a car accident. As the film opens, she lies in a hospital bed, confused and scared, watching her own show on TV and shrieking, "That was supposed to be my closeup!" With no other options, she returns to her family's old and empty Southern home, where she drinks hard, offends every caregiver, and


Drama, Comedy

Mar 30, 1999

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (0)

A tightly-focused narrative about interior struggles and unexpected changes, the film is a cynical anti-Reagan story about monetary success and class distinctions, a political fable about female survivors.

October 8, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Compelling film about two women whose spiritual transformation is precipitated by illness.

August 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The picture is sure-footed and accomplished and, to this point, the auteur's most satisfying marriage of head and heart.

July 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

McDonnell makes it work, with the help of Sayles' wonderful script.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Passion Fish has the benefit of Sayles' smart dialogue, his eye for and attention to minor details and the riveting performances of two fine actresses.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Passion Fish

I really DIDN'T think I was going to like this film, and I ended up REALLY liking it. And if I ever audition for anything, I'm totally using the "I didn't ask for the anal probe" monologue too.
August 1, 2011

Super Reviewer

stick with it and this film is very rewarding
April 7, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

More for the ladies I think. Not that I don't appreciate a good film made for women but I found I couldn't relate terribly well with the characters.
February 14, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Its remarkable that a film about a recently crippled woman, who returns to her Louisiana hometown, and is subsequently cared for by a black woman who was a former drug addict never even comes close to being cheesy or feel like a one of those stupid lifetime movies. I owe that to John Sayles who allows the characters to drive the story. Mary McDonnell is one of the most underrated actresses alive and she gives a brilliant performance as the former Soap star who now must cope with life as a paraplegic. Alfre Woodard, who is ironically known for doing a lot of Hallmark movies, is surprisingly restrained as the nurse. The film hardly ever enters cliche' territory. What I really loved was at the end, both characters have grown considerably, but neither one has any real clue about the future.
October 17, 2008
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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