6.8/10
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29 user 19 critic

The Hanging Garden (1997)

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William, a once obese and depressed adolescent, is able to move past his teenage years when he moves to the city and comes out as being gay. When he returns home though, he can't cope with his memories.

Director:

Thom Fitzgerald

Writer:

Thom Fitzgerald
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21 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Parsons Ian Parsons ... Little Sweet William
Peter MacNeill ... Whiskey Mac
Troy Veinotte Troy Veinotte ... Teen Sweet William
Kerry Fox ... Rosemary
Mark Austin Mark Austin ... Preacher
Joel Keller ... Fletcher (as Joel S. Keller)
Heather Rankin Heather Rankin ... Black-Eyed Susan
Christine Dunsworth Christine Dunsworth ... Violet
Seana McKenna Seana McKenna ... Iris
Joan Orenstein Joan Orenstein ... Grace
Chris Leavins ... Sweet William
Ashley MacIsaac Ashley MacIsaac ... Basil
Jocelyn Cunningham Jocelyn Cunningham ... Laurel
Jim Faraday Jim Faraday ... Mr. MacDougal
Sarah Polley ... Teen Rosemary
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Storyline

William, a once obese and troubled teen, goes back to his family's home after being gone, without word, for ten years and finds it (and his family) haunted with his past. He had moved to the city and become a fit, well-adjusted gay man, but during his visit home, he becomes unhinged as the newly remembered reasons for his miserable adolescence come to life in each of their presents. Written by Tom Hunt Brooks <thuntb@relaypoint.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's hard to go home... ten years after your death.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, and a scene of a hanging, and some teen drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El jardín colgante See more »

Filming Locations:

Nova Scotia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD1,500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,909
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film won the best Canadian feature award at TIFF. See more »

Quotes

Teen Rosemary: [to her brother William:] Could you get dressed, Willie, I wanna get out of here.
Grace: Where ya goin'?
Teen Sweet William: There's a stupid dance at school.
Grace: You goin' to a dance? Oh, dear God in heaven!
[to granddaughter Rosemary]
Grace: Now, you know to count to six?
Teen Rosemary: What?
Grace: If you're gonna kiss a boy, you got to count to six while you're doin' it. And then stop! After six it's a sin.
See more »


Soundtracks

Petals in a Stream
Written by John Roby
Performed by Holly Cole
© 1997 Roby Music/Triptych Media Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Opulent
21 February 1999 | by petshopSee all my reviews

Sometimes overly poetic in its gardening parallels, this story of a young man who returns to home after a number of years is intense, mysterious, and certainly not lacking in style. In a unique mixture of flashback fantasy sequences, where characters in the past actually interact with those in the present, we see an overweight teenager come to grips with his homosexuality and the returning adult come to grips with his childhood self.

This is an amazing directorial debut, and the abundance of cinematic tricks are a welcome storytelling tool. Virgin Mary Icons smile at us; a grown man witnesses the suicide he committed in his youth.

The director chooses not to draw thick boundaries around the sexuality of his characters, but doesn't fall into the trap of making them frustratingly ambiguous. Often this leaves the sour aftertaste of homophobia.

The mysterious final chapter closes without the pomp and glory that more established directors might have resorted to. It's subtlety complements its outlandishness in a way that doesn't leave you confused.


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