Passion Fish

1992

Passion Fish

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,864
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Movie Info

John Sayles' immediate and unsentimental tale of growing respect and affection between a paraplegic and her straight-talking nurse stars Mary McDonnell as soap-opera actress Mary-Alice Culhane. After an automobile accident, she discovers herself paralyzed in a hospital bed. Sinking into depression, Mary-Alice rages against the other patients and the medical staff. Eager to be rid of her, the doctors allow her to leave the hospital and return to her girlhood home in the Louisiana bayou. Back home, Mary-Alice frightens off a succession of home-care nurses until a young black woman named Chantelle (Alfre Woodard) arrives to give the job a try. Chantelle is as strong-willed as Mary-Alice, and they constantly clash until Mary-Alice begins to soften a bit. Chantelle then discovers Mary-Alice is a recovering drug addict. Since Mary-Alice has sunken into alcoholism under the weight of her paralysis, they form a common link that binds them together. When visitors begin to come around -- particularly Rennie (David Straithairn) for Mary-Alice and local cowboy Sugar LeDoux (Vondie Curtis-Hall) for Chantelle -- the women realize they must learn to overcome their distrust of people and give a little of themselves to get a bit closer.

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Critic Reviews for Passion Fish

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (24)

Audience Reviews for Passion Fish

  • Mar 30, 2012
    The first fifteen minutes or so of "Passion Fish" are misleading, as the film eventually develops into something great. McDonnell and Woodard both deliver powerful performances and Sayles' script is intricate and complex and features character that are incredibly well-developed. "Passion Fish" doesn't start off grand, but the film that it becomes is worth being talked about.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2012
    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.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2008
    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.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2008
    Another great John Sayles film.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer

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