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Guy Maddin perfectly recreates the look and feel of a 1930s in this bizarre picture. Read critic reviews

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The Saddest Music in the World Photos

Movie Info

In this experimental musical set in 1930s Winnipeg, Canada, amputee baroness Lady Port-Huntley (Isabella Rossellini) organizes a competition offering $25,000 to the person who can compose the saddest music in the world. Musicians -- including a depressed Broadway producer (Mark McKinney), his guilt-stricken father (David Fox) and a Serbian cellist (Ross McMillan) -- flock to Winnipeg with the hope that they will be the best at conveying tragedy and grief in their music.

Cast & Crew

Isabella Rossellini
Lady Port-Huntley
Brent Neale
Polish Pianist
Erik Berg
Orphan
Atom Egoyan
Executive Producer
Luc Montpellier
Cinematographer
Matthew Davies
Production Design
Richard O'Brien-Moran
First Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for The Saddest Music in the World

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (22)

Audience Reviews for The Saddest Music in the World

  • Sep 19, 2012
    The best Guy Maddin film..which isn't saying much given how much Guy Maddin films give me a headache. This one at least has a unique plot and interesting concepts. If only someone else had directed it.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2012
    It has a sad, surreal atmosphere that suggests a type of fantasy nostalgia. This may not literally be the past but Maddin desperately wishes it was. The result is a film that's intoxicating to watch. Its also a pretty spot on and rather hilarious satire of perceived cultural identity and America's invasive notion of superiority.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2011
    A legless Canadian beer magnate (Isabella Rosselini) holds a contest during the Great Depression to discover the titular music; the bout attracts a musical family with a very odd and twisted history. Very funny if you can get past the need for everything to make absolute sense; Guy Maddin continues his visual experiments in recreating the look and feel of movies from the 20s and early 30s, yet this may be his most accessible and mainstream story.
    Greg S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2011
    A Damn fine slice of Canadiana, centering around a competition in the height of the great depression to determine which nation produces the saddest music in the world. Oddball humour, surrealism and drama ensue. Guy Maddin is a director I've been meaning to check out for awhile now, and I'm glad I've finally made the plunge. I plan on watching the 'auto-biographical' trilogy within the next couple days after really enjoying this. The old tyme style of the film is incredibly genuine and I often had to remind myself that this was filmed in 2003. The humour was really bizarre but really good and I found myself laughing more than I have at a movie in a really long time. Isabella Rossellini was terrific as I had expected. Mark McKinney and Maria de Medeiros were no slouches either. The performances were over the top and kind of cheesy but it fit the overall tone of the movie well in my opinion. Strongly recommended.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer

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