Maelstrom (2000)
"Maelström" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  15 September 2000 (Canada)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,747 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 28 user | 36 critic | 17 from

After plunging her car into a river, a woman encounters a man who helps her come to terms with her life.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Claire Gunderson
Pierre Lebeau ...
The Fish (voice)
Kliment Denchev ...
Head-Annstein Karlsen (as Klimbo)
John Dunn-Hill ...
Marc Gélinas ...
Stranger in Subway
Bobby Beshro ...
Philippe Champagne
Marie-France Lambert ...
Marie-Jeanne Sirois
Virginie Dubois ...
Daniel Turcot ...
Luis Oliva ...
Fishmonger's employee
Darrell Lloyd Tucler ...
Fishmonger's employee
Léo Arguello ...
Fishmonger's employee
Martin Boucher ...


On the surface, twenty-five year old Bibiane Champagne has the perfect life. She is the daughter of the famed Flo Fabert. She co-owns a chain of boutiques in Quebec with her brother, Philippe. But Bibi's life is in shambles. She has just had an abortion. And the boutiques are failing because of her incompetence, which is the result of or has led to her substance abuse. It is also the result of the high expectations on her. Bibi's story is told by a fish awaiting decapitation on a butcher's block, the fish as narrator largely because of the singular and accidental encounter she has with fifty-three year old Norwegian fishmonger, Annstein Karlsen. That encounter leads to a further failed decision by Bibi and a meeting with Annstein's son, Evian Karlsen, who does not know the full extent of Bibi and his father's relationship. Bibi's time with Evian may provide some salvation to her crumbling life. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and an abortion scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

15 September 2000 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Maelstrom  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$25,250 (USA) (15 September 2000)


$33,410 (USA) (3 May 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Raymond Bélisle's last film. See more »


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User Reviews

A Canadian Gem...
21 November 2000 | by (Ont.Canada) – See all my reviews

"Maelström" heralds the arrival of a major directorial talent. Denis Villeneuve, who not only directed but also wrote the screenplay, displays a very high level of cinematic maturity. The film itself does not lead to any profound ending but rather peels off layer by layer. It's often unpredictable and at times hilarious. One thing to note is the astonishing camera and lighting work done by young cinematographer André Turpin. If this was a Hollywood production shot by a veteren Cameraman it would scream 'Oscar!, Oscar!' but alas.. Maelström was produced in a country that provides incentives to foreign productions yet does so little in encouraging and supporting homegrown talent.

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