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The Saddest Music in the World Review

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A competition to find the saddest music in the world - original, bizarre and cult.

★★★★★

The sight of a legless (literally) Isabella Rossellini, balancing her stumps on glass legs filled with beer, is certainly one you don't see every day. Maddin's musical drama is a decidedly cult affair, blending German Expressionism with carnivalesque humour and a whole lot more besides. Rossellini oozes sinister charm as a double amputee who launches a competition to find - the saddest music in the world - during the Great Depression. Among the scramble of bizarre entries are her opportunist ex and his mournful brother, whose father is crafting said legs for the 'Beer Queen'.

There's atmosphere and absurd wit, but the surreal style creates a distance from the characters that's only likely to be appreciated by fans of Maddin's self-conscious artistry.

Despite a charismatic performance from Ms Rossellini the surreal nature of this bizarre tale creates an emotional distance from the characters.