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84

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Have you ever wanted to relive your childhood and do things differently? Guy Maddin casts B-movie icon Ann Savage as his domineering mother in attempt to answer that question in My Winnipeg, a hilariously wacky and profoundly touching goodbye letter to his childhood hometown. A documentaryHave you ever wanted to relive your childhood and do things differently? Guy Maddin casts B-movie icon Ann Savage as his domineering mother in attempt to answer that question in My Winnipeg, a hilariously wacky and profoundly touching goodbye letter to his childhood hometown. A documentary (or "docu-fantasia" as Maddin proclaims) that inventively blends local and personal history with surrealist images and metaphorical myths, the film covers everything from the fire at the local park which lead to a frozen lake of distressed horse heads to pivotal and factually heightened scenes from Maddin's own childhood, all laced with a startling emotional honesty. My Winnipeg is Maddin's most personal film and a truly unique cinematic experience, winning the best Canadian film at the Toronto International Film Festival and the opening night selection of the Berlin Film Festival's Forum. [IFC Films] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Maddin has called his new film a "docu-fantasia," and it's an apt label for an entirely idiosyncratic mix of local myth and history, dubious science, salacious gossip, personal rumination and endless camp humor.
  5. My Winnipeg is overloaded and digressive--it comes with the territory--but it's also grounded in a place, Maddin's Manitoban hometown, and it's painfully engrossing.
  6. 80
    Like all poetic inward journeys, My Winnipeg is likely to resonate with sympathetic viewers in unexpected ways. In viewing his apparently placid prairie city, and his apparently placid prairie childhood, as an intensely symbolic landscape of mystery and terror, Maddin invites all of us to view our own equally ordinary lives in the same light.
  7. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    70
    Though it may feel undernourished to the faithful, Winnipeg is an easily digestible meal, for the uninitiated and fans alike.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. MichaelS.
    Jun 23, 2008
    10
    Guy Maddin's movies make me feel alive. I feel surges of happiness and melancholy like I'm on a great new prescription. What a ride Guy Maddin's movies make me feel alive. I feel surges of happiness and melancholy like I'm on a great new prescription. What a ride Guy, thanks for the Art baby. Expand
  2. 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 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! Expand
  3. 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 binWhat 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. Expand
  4. LawrenceT.
    Jun 22, 2008
    9
    Very ingenious and creative without being pretentious ... I love this director and am glad that I newly discovered him ... I look for more Very ingenious and creative without being pretentious ... I love this director and am glad that I newly discovered him ... I look for more from him to be just as intriguing .... I highly recommend this film. Expand
  5. 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 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. Expand
  6. sallyw.
    Jul 7, 2008
    7
    The sleepwalking theme was very strong and both myself and my boyfriend fell asleep half way through. I give it 7 for the part I did see. I The sleepwalking theme was very strong and both myself and my boyfriend fell asleep half way through. I give it 7 for the part I did see. I liked the soap 'on the ledge', must catchu up with it sometime. Is Guy Maddin a hypnotist? Expand
  7. BobW
    Jun 11, 2008
    3
    There is artistry in the editing but the cumulative effect is really annoying. I should have joined the many who walked out of the film fest There is artistry in the editing but the cumulative effect is really annoying. I should have joined the many who walked out of the film fest venue I attended. Collapse

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