|Directed by||Denis Villeneuve|
|Written by||Denis Villeneuve|
|Narrated by||Pierre Lebeau|
|Music by||Pierre Desrochers|
|Distributed by||Alliance Atlantis|
|29 August 2000 (premiere at Montreal Film Festival)
15 September 2000 (Canada)
25 January 2002 (USA, limited)
Maelström is a 2000 Canadian film by Québécois writer-director Denis Villeneuve. It stars Marie-Josée Croze as a depressed, alcoholic woman who becomes romantically involved with the son of a man she believes to have killed in a hit and run accident.
The story is told by a fish (with the voice of Pierre Lebeau). In Quebec during the autumn of 1999, twenty-five-year-old Bibiane Champagne (Marie-Josée Croze), head of three clothing boutiques, is being crushed by the expectations put on her for being the daughter of a celebrity, Flo Fabert. She resorts to drugs and alcohol in an effort to cope, while trying in vain to keep her problems from for example her colleague brother Philippe (Bobby Beshro) and a persistent magazine reporter (Marie-France Lambert). The early scenes of the film show her friends supporting her through her first abortion and her inability to function in her job.
One night, Bibiane fatally wounds a 53-year-old fishmonger, Annstein Karson, in a hit and run accident. Wracked by guilt, and wanting to erase the evidence, she drives her car into the river. She survives, and interprets her survival as a sign that she deserves to recover her life. The fishmonger's son Evian, a diver who was recently inspecting Manicouagan River, encounters Bibiane by surprise and she quickly poses as his late father's neighbour. Evian falls in love with her, and Bibiane confesses eventually that she is his father's killer. She helps him sort through Annstein's possessions, and in the final scene, Bibiane accompanies Evian to Lofoten to dispose of the ashes.
Maelström received ten nominations at the 21st Genie Awards and won five, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Best Achievement in Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Motion Picture. Prix Jutra – Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actress (Croze), Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound