March 30th, 2006



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Still of Jodelle Ferland in TidelandStill of Jodelle Ferland in TidelandStill of Jodelle Ferland in TidelandStill of Jeff Bridges in TidelandJodelle Ferland in Tideland

A lonely girl gets trapped in an eerie fantasy world after her irresponsible parents die.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.5/10 (16,396 voted)

Critic's Score: 26/100

Director: Terry Gilliam

Stars: Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly, Jodelle Ferland

Pre-teen Jeliza-Rose's parents are hopeless drug addicts. When pa, rocker Noah, finds ma OD's, he fears to be charged of homicide and takes her along to his ma's place, in a desolate country region. With Noah passed out, the girl mentally transfers to a fantasy worlds she and her doll heads enter magically. In its adventures she also stars the crazy locals, notably Dell, her domineering hag ma and adult, but retarded brother Dickens.

Writers: Tony Grisoni, Terry Gilliam

Jodelle Ferland - Jeliza-Rose / Sateen Lips / Glitter Gal / Mustique / Baby Blonde
Janet McTeer - Dell
Brendan Fletcher - Dickens
Jennifer Tilly - Queen Gunhilda
Jeff Bridges - Noah
Dylan Taylor - Patrick
Wendy Anderson - Woman / Squirrel
Sally Crooks - Dell's Mother

Taglines: The squirrels made it seem less lonely


Official Website: Bac Films [France] | Recorded Picture Company |

Release Date: 30 March 2006

Filming Locations: Canada Saskatchewan Production Studios, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $19,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,276 (USA) (15 October 2006) (1 Screen)

Gross: $197,659 (Worldwide) (15 April 2007)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In promotion for the opening weekend of this film, Director Terry Gilliam crashed the ticket line for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He signed autographs, told jokes, and took photos with fans, holding a sign proclaiming (in jest): "Studio-less Film Maker, Family to Support, Will Direct for Food". He is quoted as saying: "This is the state of independent film making. You got to get out on the street and beg again." "We have no shame anymore, just out on the streets hustling." "The first weekend is everything, if it doesn't do well the first weekend, it dies."

Jeliza-Rose: Squirrel butts don't glow.

User Review

The Age Of Unreason, Or...Why Terry Gilliam Can't Catch A Break

Rating: 10/10

Poor Terry Gilliam. The visionary director just can't catch a break. Blessed with one of the most fertile imaginations in modern cinema, equally renowned as an animator, filmmaker, and iconoclast, he has made a handful of highly original, single-minded films, most of which are now considered classics (although it tends to take a few years before critical revisionism regards his work as such; I bet few recall The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen was first considered a costly bomb on par with Heaven's Gate). But of late he has had to suffer a critical beating for his mainstream-designed The Brothers Grimm, not to mention the well-documented collapse of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (why does the word schadenfreude come to mind?), and more often than not he is regarded as somewhat of a brilliant madman with integrity to burn, willing to battle Hollywood at any cost to keep his visions intact.

Now comes his adaptation of Mitch Cullin's Tideland, a category defying film that is at turns poetic, disgusting, absurd, and darkly funny (think the languid pacing of Spirit of the Beehive, the fever dream of Alice in Wonderland, the wry insanity Psycho, and a large dose of Terence Malik gone insane). In many ways, this is the purest Gilliam film since Brazil (a film that also borrowed liberally from other sources while maintaining its own originality), and hearkens back to the days when auteurs were not only allowed to follow their wildest muse but were expected to do so. And that, too, presents what will no doubt be Tideland's greatest failing, as well as its highest achievement. Cinema has become so cynical in the last twenty years - so narrow in scope and so entertainment driven - that anything which requires viewers to experience a motion picture on its own terms is usually greeted with scorn. These would be very tough times, indeed, for the likes of a young Fellini, Kubrick, and Lynch. That's not to say Tideland is a perfectly misunderstood creation, although it should be pointed out that those who are screaming foul about this film being pointless, self indulgent, and too weird are likely the very same people who ridiculed Grimm for being unoriginal, mainstream, and plain. Yes, there were walkouts at its screenings, gasps of shock, even angry grumbling. There were also laughs, applause, and continued debates concerning what the film was really about (how often does that occur these days after a screening?).

In the end, Tideland will likely please a select group who prefer to experience cinema rather than opposing it with their own expectations (there were those who were still talking about it two days following its premiere, even when they hated it). But for those who are anxiously wanting Time Bandits 2 or desire some degree of Pythonesque humor, Tideland will disturb, bore, and profoundly bother to the point of contempt. Nevertheless, it is a very unique and, at times, incredible film, infused with at least two amazing performances, beautiful photography, and one of the most enigmatic endings I've seen in ages.

Hate it or love it, few will be able to deny the lingering, ineffable vibrations left by this film, or that it stands as further proof that its director has stayed true to himself. Of course, prepare for the yin/yang laments to come in spades: Grimm would have been a better film had Gilliam been left to his own devices; Tideland would have been a better film had Gilliam not been left to his own devices. Poor Terry Gilliam; apparently he can do no right even when he does.


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