(2003)

Critic Reviews

87

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Village Voice
A tale of sadness and hysteria so raw that it bleeds.
100
New York Post
Caouette has used art, wit and a huge heart to forge his experiences into an unqualified masterpiece.
90
Layering soundtrack and visuals in an intricate collage of rich emotional texture, he (Jonathan Caouette) displays an exhilarating talent.
90
Certainly one of the strangest and most interesting movies of the year, and I suspect that in years to come a number of other strange and interesting movies will show traces of its influence.
88
The result is a film that defies description. I'd call it some kind of miracle.
88
Tarnation represents a breakthrough in the possibilities of the personal film as a mix of poetry and journalism. It's also harrowing as hell.
80
New York Magazine (Vulture)
By all odds, Tarnation should have been an unwatchable, masochistic morass, but Caouette's love for the broken Renee--which is the true subject of the film--is awe-inspiring.
80
The A.V. Club
Caouette's shattering Tarnation represents a landmark in personal filmmaking: It finally realizes the digital dream of a raw, unsanctioned glimpse into the soul.
70
The New Republic
Caouette has opened up a case history vividly, but he has left us without any conclusions, not even with much enlightening empathy. Something more than truth--dare one say "mere truth"?--is needed.
70
Variety
Getting so close to real-life mental illness, via footage that spans many years, renders Tarnation a uniquely potent experience.

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