The Saddest Music in the World (2004) About halfway through Canadian director Guy Maddin's latest oddity, The Saddest Music in the World , double amputee Isabella Rossellini straps on a pair of…
DVD Review

The Saddest Music in the World (2004)

Isabella Rossellini, The Saddest Music in the World | SONG SUNG BLUE Rossellini seeks the weeper to end all weepers in ''Saddest Song''
SONG SUNG BLUE Rossellini seeks the weeper to end all weepers in ''Saddest Song''
EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Nov 16, 2004; DVD Release Date: Nov 16, 2004; Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Comedy, Musical; With: Maria De Medeiros, Mark McKinney and Isabella Rossellini; Distributor: IFC Films

About halfway through Canadian director Guy Maddin's latest oddity, The Saddest Music in the World, double amputee Isabella Rossellini straps on a pair of lager-filled glass legs. In some ways, it says all one needs to know about this screwy yet alluring Depression-era film, starring Rossellini as Lady Port-Huntley, a Winnipeg beer baroness who sponsors a $25,000 contest to determine which nation has the most melancholy music on earth.

Aside from the wonderfully absurd plot, Maddin's cinematic tricks (such as Vaseline-smeared lenses and rear-projection screens) strengthen the energetic performances of Rossellini and Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney, whose Broadway producer astutely pegs America's music as ''sadness, but with sass and pizzazz.''

EXTRAS Two humdrum making-ofs and three shorts by Maddin, one of which, the hilarious ''Sissy-Boy Slap-Party,'' features effeminate sailors walloping each other.

Originally posted Nov 15, 2004 Published in issue #793 Nov 19, 2004 Order article reprints