Saturday, January 9, 2016
LGBT Film Review: I've Heard The Mermaids Singing
In an upscale art gallery, Polly hangs a piece of art she mistakenly credits to her boss, Gabrielle, but it was actually created by Gabrielle's lover
This whimsical film may be a bit of an "oldie" these days, but it hasn't lost its charm and it's far from dated. What's still the heart of I've Heard The Mermaids Singing is the star: the wee bit eccentric, but oh so loveable and adorable Polly Vandersma. She's awkward, she's shy, and she's "organizationally impaired" with a child-like imagination that's truly, and kind of literally, out of this world. This movie takes us into Polly's world as she tries to figure out herself in the art world and in her "cute awareness"/romantic attraction to her strict and serious curator, Gabrielle. Polly is so out of touch with everything that like her art, her imagination takes her out of this time into another space (the dream sequences and cinematography for this are so marvelously evocative!), and from there into her photography. Polly is a very talented photographer, but because she feels inadequate and slightly insecure, she doesn't grasp just how talented she is, which same can be said for how she is when Mary, Gabrielle's ex-lover, comes into the picture (no pun intended there), and the plot thickens, challenging everyone.
The story is simple, but beautiful. There are only three primary characters, and they all stand out in their own way. I've Heard the Mermaids Singing is for the most part a comedy, a very off-kilter one at that, but it has serious undertones that's as warm as it is touching. Even if you've seen this classic Canadian indie film many, many times before, watching it again and you'll be reminded why it's still something special. And if you've never seen this before, watch it now and you'll see why that is.
** This is currently on Netflix **