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Passion Fish

Passion Fish
February 28, 2020 - 7:30 pm


Passion Fish  (1992)

Inspired both by John Sayles’ experience working as a hospital orderly and his admiration of Bergman’s Persona, this Louisana-set two-hander pairs May-Alice (Mary McDonnell), a hopeless soap-star-turned-paraplegic with nurse Chantelle (Alfre Woodard) for an update on the traditional women’s picture. Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 65th Academy Awards, losing out to Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, as well as Best Supporting Actress for McDonnell, fresh off of her much-lauded Dances with Wolves turn. These nods would lead to some of the best box office returns of Sayles’ career to date, with candid performances that warrant repeat viewings.  

35mm print from the UCLA Film & Television Archive, color, 136 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. CAST: Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Vondie Curtis-Hall, David Straithairn, Leo Burmester.