Passion Fish


(out of 5)

John Sayles’ masterpiece is this brilliant two-character drama that you wish could go on forever. After she is paralyzed from the waist down in an auto accident, a bitter soap opera actress () decides to move back home to her parents’ house in Louisiana. She hires a hilarious succession of nurses to take care of her until finally settling on one (), an equally willful, equally stubborn woman who challenges her to improve physically and emotionally every step of the way. The nurse isn’t exactly the epitome of perfection either, and as the story progresses we learn about a few skeletons in her closet. As these two women share their best and worst moments together, they end up bettering each other’s lives just by having each other to rely on, and Sayles betters our lives by letting us witness it. It features excellent dialogue, a perfect supporting cast (including and ), real drama and plenty of laughs, then topped off by two of the greatest actresses of their generation doing their very finest work.

USA, 1992

Directed by

Screenplay by John Sayles

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by 

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by John Sayles

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mary McDonnell as “May-Alice”)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (John Sayles)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Mary McDonnell)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Alfre Woodard)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Supporting Actress (Alfre Woodard)

Los Angeles Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Actress (Alfre Woodard)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Original Screenplay

Independent Spirit Award
Best Supporting Female (Alfre Woodard)

Best Supporting Male (David Strathairn)



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