6.8/10
2,805
29 user 19 critic

The Hanging Garden (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Thom Fitzgerald

Writer:

Thom Fitzgerald
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21 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Parsons Ian Parsons ... Little Sweet William
Peter MacNeill ... Whiskey Mac
Troy Veinotte Troy Veinotte ... Teen Sweet William
Kerry Fox ... Rosemary
Mark Austin Mark Austin ... Preacher
Joel Keller ... Fletcher (as Joel S. Keller)
Heather Rankin Heather Rankin ... Black-Eyed Susan
Christine Dunsworth Christine Dunsworth ... Violet
Seana McKenna Seana McKenna ... Iris
Joan Orenstein Joan Orenstein ... Grace
Chris Leavins ... Sweet William
Ashley MacIsaac Ashley MacIsaac ... Basil
Jocelyn Cunningham Jocelyn Cunningham ... Laurel
Jim Faraday Jim Faraday ... Mr. MacDougal
Sarah Polley ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film won the best Canadian feature award at TIFF. See more »

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

Petals in a Stream
Written by John Roby
Performed by Holly Cole
© 1997 Roby Music/Triptych Media Publishing
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User Reviews

 
Hanging Garden is a small, intensely felt film abo...
7 August 1998 | by bgilchSee all my reviews

Hanging Garden is a small, intensely felt film about a family in tatters and a son whose own problems are eclipsed until he does something he can't take back. Given the film's major conceit is a breach in family fabric that can't be woven back in, magic realism is an applicable term--but only so if shot through the caustic self-wounding humour of the Maritimes, where I lived for six years. If this seems dour, then consider the take-off marriage sequence that opens the film: drunkeness, homoeroticism, Celtic music madness and four-dozen f-words. This film is a gorgeous if painful tribute to growing up in a remove that already seems past its age, in an ocean playground whose garden has gone to seed. This film was ranked, and fairly, as the best Canadian film of 1997 by the Jay Stone of the Globe & Mail (Canada's national newspaper), and if that makes Americans laugh, then consider this is a ranking ahead of Sweet Hereafter, which only made it to the Best Director Oscar Nomination and Cannes Recognition for Atom Egoyan and was also Roger Ebert's #2 film of the year. Adulations all around are deserving for this home-grown production. The film only suffers from inexperience with some actors and having to come up with a conclusion for a tale that can't logically have one. And the parents are excellent in it too, especially the mum. At the singular, crucial sequence of the film all the elements of the film - colour, symbolism, lamentation and ladyslipperknots - fuse in breathtaking splendor, and I mean so in the inhaled gasp that graces the east coast 'yes '. It still stuns me in memoriam. Four Stars * * * *


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hanging Garden See more »

Filming Locations:

Nova Scotia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD1,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,909
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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