The Disability in Film Blogathon – Passion Fish (1992)


This is the second of three posts dedicated to The Disability in Film Blogathon being held over at In The Good Old Days of Hollywood and Popculture Reverie

Tnx Crystal and Robin for letting me take part!

“I am not ready for this. When I get stronger I will quit drinking.” – May-Alice Culhane

“If you keep drinking you won’t get any stronger.” – Chantelle

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Video in the 90’s and 22 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Following an accident that paralyzes her, a soap opera star tries to get her life back on track despite her new disability.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing not long after it came out because I enjoyed Mary McDonnell’s performances in Dances With Wolves (1990), Grand Canyon (1991) and in Sneakers (1992) which make me curious as to whether she could also play a lead character instead of just a supporting one

She actually does a wonderful job with this part and shows that she is able to be a great lead actress on her way to stardom.

The premise of the film is an interesting one and is mostly presented well, but it still remains a bit unsatisfying by the end.

This film manages to develop the two main characters played by McDonnell and Alfre Woodard quite well and they make their budding friendship gradually progress in a realistic fashion.

Some of the issues discussed by these  characters are quite poignant and reflect how becoming paralyzed can not only change one physically but also mentally because there is a heavy toll to it all.

Despite this, something constantly feels out of place with the storyline and takes away from the overall enjoyment of the film.

McDonnell was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this performance and she was quite deserving of it because the role is a very challenging one.

The story and plot meanders along a bit too much and it might have been even better if it would have been edited tighter and perhaps been a bit shorter in length.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that shows McDonnell’s budding star power in the lead, but overall feels a bit unsatisfying.  The two main characters are both developed quite well and it’s interesting to see how their friendship blooms over the course of the film but something constantly feel out of place with the storyline that takes away from enjoying it even more. McDonnell deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this role because it is such a challenging one.  Part of the story meanders along too much and it would have been even better if it was a bit shorter.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Actress Mary McDonnell prepared for her role as the wheelchair-bound May-Alice by attending physical training and hospital sessions with counselors and real paraplegics. She had to do this while she was concurrently filming Sneakers (1992). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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4 thoughts on “The Disability in Film Blogathon – Passion Fish (1992)

  1. Pingback: The 2nd Disability in Film Blogathon is Here! | Pop Culture Reverie

  2. I saw this movie when it first came out. I remember that there was some concern in 1992 that there would be no one but Emma Thompson to nominate for Best Actress. Then, Lorenzo’s Oil, Passion Fish, and Love Field were all released in quick succession. It was such a weak year for movies that Catherine Deneuve in Indochine, which had barely gotten a release in the US, became the fifth nominee. You could make the argument, I guess, for Geena Davis in A League of Their Own, or Tilda Swinton in Orlando, but it was just a weak year.

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  3. Pingback: THE DISABILITY IN FILM BLOGATHON IS HERE – In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood.

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1992 |

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