7.1/10
2,596
29 user 34 critic

The Hanging Garden (1997)

William, a once obese and depressed adolescent, is able to move past his teenage years when he moves to the city and comes out as being gay. When he returns home though, he can't cope with his memories.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Parsons ...
...
Troy Veinotte ...
...
Rosemary
Mark Austin ...
Preacher
...
Fletcher (as Joel S. Keller)
Heather Rankin ...
Black-Eyed Susan
Christine Dunsworth ...
Violet
Seana McKenna ...
Iris
Joan Orenstein ...
Grace
...
Ashley MacIsaac ...
Basil--Fiddler
Jocelyn Cunningham ...
Laurel
Jim Faraday ...
Mr. MacDougal
...
Teen Rosemary
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Storyline

William, a once obese and troubled teen, goes back to his family's home after being gone, without word, for ten years and finds it (and his family) haunted with his past. He had moved to the city and become a fit, well-adjusted gay man, but during his visit home, he becomes unhinged as the newly remembered reasons for his miserable adolescence come to life in each of their presents. Written by Tom Hunt Brooks <thuntb@relaypoint.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's hard to go home... ten years after your death.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, and a scene of a hanging, and some teen drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jardín colgante  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$45,830 (USA) (7 November 1997)

Gross:

$925,756 (USA) (10 July 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Teen Rosemary: [to her brother William:] Could you get dressed, Willie, I wanna get out of here.
Grace: Where ya goin'?
Teen Sweet William: There's a stupid dance at school.
Grace: You goin' to a dance? Oh, dear God in heaven!
[to granddaughter Rosemary]
Grace: Now, you know to count to six?
Teen Rosemary: What?
Grace: If you're gonna kiss a boy, you got to count to six while you're doin' it. And then stop! After six it's a sin.
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Soundtracks

It's Only Memory
Written and performed by Beth Case and Chris Zimmerman
© 1995 Beth Case and Chris Zimmerman
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User Reviews

 
Holds up well
12 March 2009 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I recently saw this again having first seen it in the theater on its release and been spellbound by it.

Thom Fitzgerald is both the writer and director of an exploration into a family's dysfunction and disintegration amid their getting together for the wedding of the daughter.

The film shows the family in both the present and the past and centres around the newly returned son, Sweet William, the father, Whiskey Mac and his wife, Iris, and their relationship to their three children. The father is a nursery man/gardener and the segments of the movie are titled with the names of flowers. As are the children of the family.

In the past, Sweet William, an unhappy overweight boy is conflicted by his latent homosexuality. He develops a relationship with his friend Fletcher. When they are caught making love, the family completely falls apart.

The message of the film revolves around the theme of family secrets and how attempts to bury or ignore them serves only as a temporary cover-up. They will out.

Peter MacMeill, Kerry Fox, Chris Leavins, Troy Veinoitte, Seana McKenna and Sarah Polley give able, believable performances.

Again, it is one of those under-appreciated Canadian gems that have not been brought to a wider audience. And deserve to be.

And it has one of the most surprising, uplifting endings!

8 out of 10. Bravos to all involved.


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