Tideland

"Terrible"

Tideland Review


It's not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a film that uses the dead gas escaping from a putrefying corpse for comic effect by making it sound like flatulence. There's nothing that says a film can't find the humor or humanity in a mentally damaged, possibly homicidal man befriending a lonely pre-teen girl of dubious sanity with whom he seems to have less-than-honorable intentions. And there's nothing wrong with having squirrels or severed dolls-heads speak to that same girl in lieu of human companionship. In short, it's not the dark subject matter of Terry Gilliam's Tideland that makes it so squirmingly unwatchable, it's his callous, giggly, and monstrously tone-deaf approach.Based on the novel by Mitch Cullen, Gilliam's film is a trippy fantasia that has the feeling of a Neil Gaiman pastiche of a junkie version of Alice in Wonderland as interpreted by Asia Argento and JT LeRoy -- only worse. The rather brilliantly naturalistic Jodelle Ferland wastes her talent playing Jeliza-Rose, a young girl of uncommonly optimistic outlook whose no-good parents (Jennifer Tilly and Jeff Bridges) are squabbling junkies who barely pay attention to her unless it's to help them shoot up. Not long into the film, Tilly fatally overdoses, sending Jeliza-Rose and her dad, Noah, on the road, as Noah is convinced in his heroin haze that the authorities will be after him. They end up at his old family farmhouse, boarded up and filled with the dusty memories of his long-dead mother. Then Noah ODs, too, leaving Jeliza-Rose on her own.She doesn't seem to mind, really, as it takes her awhile to even realize Noah is dead (in the meantime, she dresses his corpse in a wig and makeup). The world through Jeliza-Rose's eyes seems a pretty wonderful place, which she fills with imaginary voices and fantastical creations. The house itself is full of undiscovered treasure and surrounded by tall, wind-blown prairie grass. Meanwhile, just down the road is another house where a crazy woman in a black beekeepers' outfit (Janet McTeer) and her younger brother (Brendan Fletcher), the previously mentioned potential psychopath who initially comes off as an innocent but seems later to take a liking to Jeliza-Rose.Tideland is obviously a story packed full of material that's best handled delicately, what with the overall fog of insanity and the intimations of pedophilia. The problem here is that "delicate" is not a word one would ever use to describe Gilliam. A filmmaker with obvious and commendable visual talents (strangely in abeyance here), his storytelling taste has always vacillated between the sarcastic and the sentimental, with Tideland being a stomach-churning slurry of the two. In a story that calls for a light hand, Gilliam uses only the hammer, smacking home each and every scene with acting best described (with the exception of Ferland) as hysterical and a sense of humor that goes beyond the merely tasteless and verges on the deranged.There's always the chance that the whole film is a great put-on, a low-budget joke of the most gigantic order -- it does literally end, after all, with a train-wreck. Anything is possible. But that may not matter in the end, because if there was ever a film to end a career, Tideland is it.The tide is high and I'm movin' on.


Tideland

Facts and Figures

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th August 2006

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: ThinkFilm

Production compaines: Téléfilm Canada, The Movie Network, Astral Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 53

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Rhonda Baker, Paul Brett, , Nick O'Hagan, , Peter Watson

Starring: as Jeliza-Rose, as Dell, as Queen Gunhilda, as Noah, as Dickens, Dylan Taylor as Patrick, Wendy Anderson as Woman, Sally Crooks as Dell's Mother

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.