2016/11/04

Execrable: Tideland

Tideland (2005)
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Written by Mitch Cullin, Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni
Produced by Gabriella Martinelli, Jeremy Thomas, Wladyslaw Bartoszewics, Nick O'Hagan, Paul Brett, Peter Watson
Starring Jodelle Ferland, Janet McTeer, Brendan Fletcher, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly
If Gilliam's beveled and floating shots identify his professional low-water mark as idiosyncratic, they certainly can't redeem this tedious tale of two horse junkies' vociferously imaginative daughter (Ferland), who repairs with her father (Bridges) to the aging rock frontman's derelict childhood prairie home when her mother (Tilly) finally succumbs to the strain of methadone addiction. At a snail's pace, she cultivates acquaintance with a grimy, neighboring weirdo (McTeer) and her fretful, doltish brother (Fletcher) whilst immersed in fantasies far removed from her grim circumstances. Technically, nothing's objectionable here: Nicola Pecorini's photography is lovely, Jeff and Mychael Danna's score sounds some memorable themes, tawdrily cluttered production design by Jasna Stefanovic provisions as much an eyeful as one could expect in a pic from the veteran Python, and all the players are well on their marks. Yet aside from a few striking, wasted hypostatic visual effects, nearly 100 minutes of these two charmless hours merely focus on rollicking hicks yabbering loudly to themselves and at each other. By treading diegetic water and drubbing the slavish stereotype of the whimsical redneck to a pulp, Gilliam's only proved that oddities for their own sake are a screaming bore.

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