Tideland (2005)

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Overall Rating 58%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,770
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Jodelle Ferland
Jodelle Ferland
Janet McTeer
Janet McTeer
Brendan Fletcher
Brendan Fletcher
Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly
Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
Review by bluemeanie
Added: March 01, 2007
There are several words that could be used to describe Terry Gilliam's "Tideland". The first word that comes to mind is 'pointless'. The film accomplishes nothing. The second is 'ridiculous'. The film makes zero sense and twists and turns through fields of incompetency. The third word I would use would be 'awful'. That could describe everything from the lead performance of Jodelle Ferland to the performance of Brendan Fletcher. And, the final word I would use would be 'pretentious'. This film reminded me of "The Black Dahlia" - directed by Brian De Palma, it seemed like De Palma was trying too hard to create a Brian De Palma film. The same goes for "Tideland". Terry Gilliam was trying too hard to be himself and has crafted one of the truly worst films ever made. I wanted to turn this film off many times, but just couldn't - not because I was enjoying it, but because I just had to see how terrible this film could get. It got pretty damned bad.

There is only a small assemblance of a plot, and it revolves around Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland) moving to the country with her father (Jeff Bridges) after her mother (Jennifer Tilly) overdoses. Her father is a heroine addict and more than a little insane, and when he dies, she is left to fend for herself with the assistance of the mentally challenged Dickens (Brendan Fletcher) and his overbearing sister Dell (Janet McTeer). Throughout all of this, Jeliza-Rose's only friends are four doll's heads - the child actress provides their voices as well. So, there's your plot. What happens in and out of that plot is...well...nothing. There are countless scenes throughout this bomb that could have easily been left out - they are long-winded, boring and unnecessary. There are so many conversations between the girl and the doll's heads that we just want it to hurry up and end. It's almost embarrassing how bad this film turned out to be. Forget embarrassing...unacceptable.

The performances are equally as miserable as everything else. Jodelle Ferland gives possibly the worst acting performance in the history of film as Jeliza-Rose, the lead. Her accent is just plain awful, her talents are minimal, at best, and Terry Gilliam was just asking a sub-talented child actress to take on too much. The best performances in the film come from Jennifer Tilly and Jeff Bridges and they're the first two characters to bite the dust. We're left with the rest, including a rancid Brendan Fletcher and the usually phenomenal Janet McTeer, who can do nothing here with a role that is about as entertaining as a bullet in the calf muscle. Up and down and all around these characters go through the twisted, fucked up world of Terry Gilliam, and they never do anything or say anything or produce anything. And, at over two hours, this film is more than laborious.

Terry Gilliam's "Tideland" looked like Rob Zombie trying to direct a drama - that's what it felt like to me. It's all over the place, and no true Terry Gilliam fan should appreciate it. As most of you know, I think Gilliam is an overrated hack, but I watched this film with someone who considers Gilliam to be one of the best filmmakers out there, and even he wanted to turn it off. "Tideland" opened in limited theatres to terrible reviews for a reason - it is both limited and terrible. It is the worst film of last year and one of the worst films I have ever seen in my entire life. How does someone greenlight a piece of crap like this? How does Terry Gilliam get to keep directing? Just because he made a few good films doesn't mean he still has it - let me assure you...he doesn't. The final word I will use to describe Terry Gilliam's "Tideland" is this...'nothing'.

Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 05/22/2007, 09:57 PM
I loved this film. It's just beautifully twisted. I thought it was so orginal and unique. The perfomances from everyone were top notch. This film is definately not for everyone but I thought it was simply amazing. You should really just watch it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 05/23/2007, 12:33 AM
lol...or not and save yourself the headache and embarrassment.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #3: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 12/21/2007, 11:49 AM
I find it tough to believe how abysmal many make this out to be. Like David, I thought all performances were great for this movie, especially Jodelle Ferland who was vastly adorable in her role. Now, as much as I feel it to be a darkly fun have, I will admit that it does have a couple of bland moments, but none of which go on to ruin the film.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 12/21/2007, 12:00 PM
That little girl was awful. Absolutely awful. This movie was about as interesting as watching Ben Stein recite the Declaration of Independence to a backdrop of Yanni music. It had nothing. It was nothing. Terry Gilliam is an inventive guy, but he gets too caught up trying to be quirky and dark. Tim Burton does it far better because Burton knows how to make his films interesting both internally and externally.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #5: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 12/21/2007, 02:54 PM
Oh, you big silly.
Ya know, I'm actually planning on meeting Jodelle Ferland. If she complies, together we will sneak into the home of little miss Abigail Breslin, kidnap her, snap the necks of her three dogs, drown her cat, and fry her three fish. Afterwards, we will be frolicking around in celebration as the corpse of young Abby roasts on a pole that has been impaled through her rectum and out her mouth - all just because Jodelle is way more deserving of the distinction of being amongst the youngest female actors to have an award nomination of such caliber as Breslin, plus I heard that she's a real bitch on set.(!)

While on the subject of kid actors and all fun aside, I really want to Jon Woo (see SUWA) the people responsible for Cameron Bright's appearance in movies.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 12/21/2007, 03:33 PM
Wow. Yeah. I love Abigail Breslin and think she's a fine child actor. The same for Cameron Bright, who was very good in "Birth". Freddie Highmore is another one who has always done a great job. You're enjoying her performance in "Tideland" might be worse than Chad enjoying Diamond Dallas Page's performance in "Driftwood". It boggles the mind.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #7: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 12/22/2007, 10:23 AM
Seriously, I have nothing against Abigail Breslin, but Cameron Bright? Ugh! Birth was crummy enough in itself, but Mr. Bright's excruciating acting made it all the more unpleasant.
Crispy #8: Crispy - added 10/15/2009, 12:05 AM
Fucking sucks.
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