I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing Photos

Movie Info

Lensed on a smile and a shoeshine on 16 millimeter, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing effectively shifts from black and white to color and back again to make its artistic statement. Sheila McCarthy stars as a self-effacing amateur photographer who goes to work for yuppie art-curator Paule Baillargeon. Ms. McCarthy expresses her admiration for Ms. Baillargeon by secretly submitting the latter's paintings to some appreciative critics. Baillargeon responds by behaving atrociously towards McCarthy. This shakes up McCarthy to the point that she realizes she'll never succeed as an artist on her own terms long as she hides behind the accomplishments of others. This apparently autobiographical first film by director Patricia Rozema (we say "apparently" because Sheila McCarthy's character name is rhythmically and ethnically close to Rozema's) won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Sheila McCarthy
as Polly Vandersma
Paule Baillargeon
as Gabrielle St. Peres
John Evans
as Warren
Brenda Kamino
as Japanese Waitress
Richard Monette
as Clive the Critic

Critic Reviews for I've Heard the Mermaids Singing

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1)

A short, sweet, enjoyable comedy, with a winning performance by McCarthy.

April 9, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A film that will appeal to those who have yearned to break out of the mold of a restricted life.

August 27, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

McCarthy is an underrated Canadian treasure.

October 19, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for I've Heard the Mermaids Singing


A touching movie about a unique lonely girl, trying to find happiness in the world.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

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