Review: ‘I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing’

I've Heard The Mermaids Singing neatly blends film and video and comedy with serious undertones.

I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing neatly blends film and video and comedy with serious undertones.

Plot centers on a klutzy and innocent temporary secretary (Sheila McCarthy) who is jobbed in at an art gallery run by an older femme, whom it is established quickly on takes a flagged fancy to her without the secretary cottoning on.

Living alone in cramped quarters, the secretary lives a fantasy life via deliberately grainy black-&-white scenes in which she flies through the air, walks on water and actually hears mermaids singing. Those sequences are soaringly portrayed with accompanying classical music [from Delibes’ Lakme]. In other off-times, she observes daily life by taking photographs.

The secretary later discovers what appears to be the owner’s own thrill-making canvases. Taking one of them, cleverly just a blaze of framed white light, the secretary hangs it in the gallery; it’s heralded by the press, and the gallery owner attains fame. But the secretary is dejected because of the growing love affair between the two other women and rejection of her photos.

McCarthy, a waif-faced Canadian stage thesp in her first lead film role, gives a dynamic, strongly believable and constantly assured performance. She is ably assisted by Paule Baillargeon (the gallery owner).

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing

Canada

Production

Vos. Director Patricia Rozema; Producer Patricia Rozema, Alexandra Raffe; Screenplay Patricia Rozema; Camera Douglas Koch; Editor Patricia Rozema; Music Mark Korven; Art Director Valanne Ridgeway

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Sheila McCarthy Paule Baillargeon Ann-Marie McDonald John Evans
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading