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Tideland (2005)


Duration 2h 00m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin
Director Terry Gilliam
Writers/Script Tony Grisoni, Terry Gilliam
Starring Jodelle Ferland, Janet McTeer, Brendan Fletcher, Jennifer Tilley, Jeff Bridges

Elevator Pitch: When preteen Jeliza-Rose’s mother dies of an overdose she and her father take off for the family home in the Texas badlands. They get there to find it with  roof, but otherwise in ruins, and almost immediately the father also overdoses leaving Jeliza-Rose alone but for the company of her Barbie heads which she uses as finger puppets. She meet Dicken a mentally challenged young man and his sister Dell, who seems to have had some sort of a relationship with Jeliza-Rose’s dad. In an increasingly surreal environment Dell embalms Jeliza-Rose’s dad, and Dicken threatens to end the world with a hidden cache of dynamite.

Content: there is non-revelatory sex between Dell and a delivery boy, witnessed by Jeliza-Rose, she also gets just a bit close to Dicken. We see her preparing heroin for her father more than once. The father’s dead body is in constant focus in the ruined house, until he is embalmed, after that he is laid on a bed. Dicken has a tent made out of plastic. His house which he shares with Dell, is dark and unpleasant, and what about their mother? Jeliza-Rose wanders about conversing with her Barbie heads.

A View: This film was estimated to have cost $19 million and made $566,600 at the box office – worldwide. It was generally disliked by everybody except for the jury at San Sebastian in 2005 who gave it first prize. Some said that the girl did not do well, but all things considered she pretty well nailed it I thought, but it did not make me like it more. It was in turn boring, depressing and distressing, so I have to make it a DON’T SEE. I would be prepared to pay not to have to sit through it again.

Additional Info: It was initially only released at one cinema in USA, and took $7000 on its first weekend.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


One thought on “Tideland (2005)

  1. Let me join San Sebastian as I also loved this movie! After all, there’s no Terry Gilliam movie that I don’t like…

    Posted by Sam Simon | November 26, 2019, 6:24 pm

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