6.9/10
1,302
19 user 18 critic

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | March 1988 (USA)
Scatterbrained Polly gets a job as a secretary in Gabrielle's art gallery. Polly aspires to be a professional photographer, and idolizes Gabrielle for her artistic ability. When Gabrielle ... See full summary »

Director:

Patricia Rozema

Writer:

Patricia Rozema
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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sheila McCarthy ... Polly Vandersma
Paule Baillargeon ... Gabrielle St. Peres
Ann-Marie MacDonald Ann-Marie MacDonald ... Mary Joseph
Richard Monette Richard Monette ... Clive
John Evans John Evans ... Warren
Brenda Kamino ... Waitress
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Storyline

Scatterbrained Polly gets a job as a secretary in Gabrielle's art gallery. Polly aspires to be a professional photographer, and idolizes Gabrielle for her artistic ability. When Gabrielle rekindles an old romantic relationship with the younger painter Mary, Polly becomes jealous, and discovers Gabrielle is not who she claims to be. Written by Mike Jones

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Isn't life the strangest thing you've ever seen?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le chant des sirènes See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$262,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,408,491
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The surrealist black-&-white dream-like sequences in the film are all accompanied by Léo Delibes' music score 'Lakmé: The Flower Duet" (Act 2, No 2 Duetto: Viens, Malika... Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin). See more »

Quotes

Polly Vandersma: Isn't life the strangest thing you've ever seen?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

OPEN WINDOW
By Mark Korven
Courtesy of Duke Street Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Four Weddings and a Funeral
10 May 2006 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Wow. There are four rather fine things in this, and one that ruins it all.

First the good. The key role is perfectly realized. Though the supporting actors and the way things are staged are mundane, this actress and the writer/directer created someone memorable. This was Napoleon Dynamite before he was cool.

While dialog and pacing are uneven, the music isn't. It is uniformly apt. The performance and the music alone are just about enough to sustain the thing until the end.

And there's one brilliant piece of stagecraft. Some paintings figure in the plot. These paintings have impressed our heroine who -- it is made explicit -- is our narrator. She describes them as miraculous and when they are shown, they are blank, white glowing rectangles. Until this point, the imaginary and real segments are clearly distinguished, and when we see this clever trick, we move forward on our chair, waiting for what is next.

And the final great thing is the way the thing is structured. In several ways, we are told that this is an artwork that is about artwork and the "message" is both in the story and how the story is told: there are matters of authorship and genuineness; a bit about filming and being filmed; other bits about reality and representations of reality. Hey, we see, this is one smart woman behind this. And we lean ever more forward in the chair, ready to leap.

And then the end hits us with such a banal notion that we are gobsmacked back. Hey! Is that all? All that energy and cleverness to tell us something Art Linkletter or Reader's Digest could (and does)? Jees.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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