The Saddest Music in the World

Genre:  Comedy, Drama, Musical
Running Time:  99 min.
Release Date: April 30, 2004
DVD: September 21, 2004

Current rating: Rating: 3.82
based on 163 votes and 7 reviews
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Cast: Mark McKinney, Isabella Rossellini, Maria de Medeiros, David Fox, Ross McMillan


It is 1933, the height of the Great Depression. To boost sales, beer baroness Lady Port-Huntly (Rossellini) announces a global competition to determine the saddest music in the world. Musicians from every corner of the globe including Siam, Mexico and Scotland flock to wintry Winnipeg -- the world capital of sorrow -- to vie for the colossal twenty-five-thousand-dollar prize.

Against this droll backdrop, the members of the Kent family confront their secret past while locked in a rivalry to end all rivalries. Chester (McKinney), the cynical, failed Broadway producer, prepares to entrance live crowds and radio listeners with some Yankee Doodle razzle-dazzle, while his older brother Roderick (McMillan), a forlorn cellist who has returned from post-war Europe, will play out his anguish over the disappearance of his beloved wife. Complicating things further, Narcissa (de Medeiros), an amnesiac, nymphomaniac sleepwalker, has become Chester’s most recent companion and muse. Meanwhile the brothers’ father, the guilt-ridden Fyodor (Fox), atones for the accidental amputation of the legs of his one true love by crafting glass legs filled with beer. SOURCE: 2003 Toronto International Film Festival website

Canadian Connection  Canadian Connection: Actor Mark McKinney; director Guy Maddin; filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Director: Guy Maddin
Studio: IFC Films
Producer(s): Niv Fichman, Jody Shapiro
Screenplay: Guy Maddin
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