Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Lensed on a smile and a shoeshine on 16 millimeter, I've Heard the Mermaids Singing effectively shifts from black and white to color and back again to make its artistic statement. Sheila McCarthy stars as a self-effacing amateur photographer who goes to work for yuppie art-curator Paule Baillargeon. Ms. McCarthy expresses her admiration for Ms. Baillargeon by secretly submitting the latter's paintings to some appreciative critics. Baillargeon responds by behaving atrociously towards McCarthy. This shakes up McCarthy to the point that she realizes she'll never succeed as an artist on her own terms long as she hides behind the accomplishments of others. This apparently autobiographical first film by director Patricia Rozema (we say "apparently" because Sheila McCarthy's character name is rhythmically and ethnically close to Rozema's) won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival.
art-gallery, artist, curator, employer/employee, klutz, lesbianism, photography, secretary