Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    (1) Shot for shot, Maddin can be as surprising and delightful as any filmmaker has ever been, and (2) he is an acquired taste, but please, sir, may I have some more?
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    So it should come as no surprise that what Maddin eventually produced is a film about HIS Winnipeg, a psychological terrain that's no more -- nor less -- "real" than William Carlos William's Paterson or Marcel Proust's Combray.
  3. Both the definition of ''my'' and the definition of ''Winnipeg'' become profoundly fluid in this exquisite ''docu-fantasia'' (Maddin's term), an entrancing riffle through the olde curiosity shoppe of the filmmaker's psyche.
  4. 91
    Maddin talks at length about Winnipeg's hidden layers, but what makes My Winnipeg perhaps his best film to date is that so much of it is right out in the open.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    90
    Hilarious for those on Maddin's mad wavelength and more varied than his strictly fictional features.
  6. This haunting phantasmagoria of a film -- comic, singular, surreal -- is not only something no one but the Canadian director could have made, it's also a film no one else would have even wanted to make. Which is the heart of its appeal.
  7. Deeply personal, wryly funny and fantastically cinematic.
  8. Ann Savage, the femme fatale from a slew of old Hollywood noirs, is savagely funny as Maddin's beauty-parlor proprietress mom.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Maddin's Winnipeg is a rich, funky, funny stew of fears and desires, of mangled civic chronology mashed up with hothouse private emotions. This is a secret history, and it's a wonder.
  10. Mock-heroic yet still lyrical, faux-mythic but honest too, uniquely and absurdly and often hilariously Canadian, My Winnipeg is like no documentary you've ever seen.
  11. 83
    It's sometimes uneven, but it's glorious, too, with constantly churning invention and the guarantee that you have never seen anything like it before -- unless it came from Winnipeg and Guy Maddin.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Aug 26, 2010
    10
    What is "My Winnipeg"? Sure, it's easy to dismiss it as an experimental film, but that's like blacklisting it to a future in some storage bin in a modern art museum, which would be a shame. The film claims to be a documentary about Guy Maddin's hometown, Winnipeg, MB. The footage shows what appears to be reenactments of Maddin's childhood, scenes from his family and a speckled history of the town. From the beginning it's obvious that this 'reality' is pure imagination, a fantasy concocted by Maddin, but for what purpose? Why is he trying to escape reality and his hometown that he loves so dearly? The best way to understand is to watch it, accept it as truth like Maddin has, and experience the world as it becomes a much more magical place. Full Review »
  2. ChrisP.
    Aug 2, 2008
    7
    It's watchable and amusing, but incomplete as a work of art. Maddin's voice-over narrative has some witty quips but deflates rather than fueling the romantic/mythic/dreamlike emotional energy he's trying for. The best sequence in the film is a silent recreation of a seance in the Legislature; only for these few minutes is the film allowed to speak for itself and achieve some real emotional impact. For such a visual director, he repeatedly violates the "show me, don't tell me" rule, so that the visuals and narrative don't add to each other but just run side by side, and that loosely. Also surprisingly, there are too few visual ideas in the film; Maddin keeps showing us the same image over and over long after the point has been made. There's some brilliant editing, but the style of the film is monotonous; intensity comes in random fits and starts, but never achieves any momentum or arc. Narratively, there's no insight what makes Winnipeg tick or why its city council makes the famously bad decisions it does, nor why Winnipegers allow those decisions to happen and nurse the feelings of betrayal that they do. Maddin's ironic detachment functions more as a self-protective mask than as an opportunity for critical reappraisal of the sentiments he's expressions. Overall, the whole thing comes across as fairly masturbatory (metaphorically speaking, although there is some fairly cliched stuff about sexual repression in here); one is tempted to think the director isn't interested in anyone's emotions but his own, and is not much in touch with those. There is a lot of potential in this film (it might have worked brilliantly as an all-silent film) but it's an unfinished and art-schoolish, not the work of a mature artist. Full Review »
  3. BryanR.
    Aug 1, 2008
    10
    WOW! Guy Maddin is filmmaker who hasn't has his vision stomped by TV or Hollywood -- like the last living real movie director cringing in an ice cave in Canada of all places! Full Review »