7.0/10
4,633
32 user 40 critic

Maelstrom (2000)

Maelström (original title)
After plunging her car into a river, a woman encounters a man who helps her come to terms with her life.

Director:

Denis Villeneuve
23 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marie-Josée Croze ... Bibiane Champagne
Jean-Nicolas Verreault ... Evian
Stephanie Morgenstern ... Claire Gunderson
Pierre Lebeau ... The Fish (voice)
Kliment Denchev Kliment Denchev ... Head-Annstein Karlsen (as Klimbo)
John Dunn-Hill ... Fishmonger
Marc Gélinas ... Stranger in Subway
Bobby Beshro Bobby Beshro ... Philippe Champagne
Marie-France Lambert ... Marie-Jeanne Sirois
Virginie Dubois Virginie Dubois ... Sara
Daniel Turcot Daniel Turcot ... Infernal fishmonger
Luis Oliva ... Fishmonger's employee
Darrell Lloyd Tucler Darrell Lloyd Tucler ... Fishmonger's employee
Léo Arguello Léo Arguello ... Fishmonger's employee
Martin Boucher Martin Boucher ... Driver
Learn more

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A series of flashing green and red screens, set to music, create the effect of patterns in the viewer's eyes (ganzfeld). The patterns seem to react to the music, supporting the claim made in the title.

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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Denis Villeneuve was disappointed with his first two movies, August 32nd on Earth (1998) and Maelstrom (2000), so he took a nine-year sabbatical as a stay-at-home dad. He vowed to return "when I was ready to make a film I could be proud of", which was Polytechnique (2009). See more »

Quotes

Evian: He wasn't supposed to be cremated.
Funeral home employee: Oh no? Oops!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is text at the beginning of the movie in Norwegian: "Vi ber om unnskyldning til alle våre norske venner. Filmen viser et bilde av Norge som er basert på klisjéer. Vi skrev filmmanuset under hypnose. Vi beklager at alt i filmen er oppspinn."

It translates as: "We apologize to all our Norwegian friends. The film shows a picture of Norway based on clichés. We wrote the movie script under hypnosis. We regret that everything in the movie is spinning." See more »


Soundtracks

Good Morning Starshine
Performed by Cast of "Hair"
See more »

User Reviews

Blue
5 August 2003 | by ndhandSee all my reviews

I was rather excited to watch this film, and the first hour or so did not disappoint. It reminded me a lot of Kieslowski's Blue, and also a little bit of Red, in the character interaction, the cinematography, the use of colors, and just the overall mood. However, I thought that the last half went downhill. It suddenly switched from a journey into depression and internal conflicts to a cliched, improbable love story, almost as if the ending had been tacked on. The emotions of the main characters in the end shift too dramatically, and it seems as though no healing or reconciliation takes place (although apparently some does). The very ending, with the last words of the fish were too out of context, and I swear that they were borrowed directly from some other source. Perhaps my least favorite part of the entire movie comes at the ending on the boat, only because the song being played does not fit the mood at all, and changed my outlook entirely. All in all though, a feature worth watching, if only for the first half alone.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

French | English | Norwegian

Release Date:

15 September 2000 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Maelstrom See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$254,380

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$254,380
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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