Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love, death, and fish all mingle in this offbeat comedy-drama from award-winning Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. Bibiane Champagne (Marie-Josee Croze) is the daughter of a well-known fashion designer who dabbles in modeling when she's not busy helping to run the family business with her brother Phillippe (Bobby Beshro). But Bibiane has not been especially happy in her work lately, owing in part to an unexpected pregnancy that led her to have an abortion. Bibiane tries drowning her sorrows in alcohol and drugs, and late one night, after several drinks too many, she hits a jaywalker while driving home. The pedestrian staggers away after the accident, and the next morning, Bibiane remembers what happened and is frightened at the prospect that she may have killed someone. When Bibiane reads a newspaper account the next day of a seafood delivery man who died in his kitchen after being struck by a hit-and-run driver, she's convinced she was responsible for the crime. Guiltily attending the man's funeral, Bibiane strikes up a conversation with his son, Evian (Jean-Nicholas Verreault), and soon the two have become romantically involved, with Bibiane unable to tell Evian her secret. Maelstrom was shown in competition at both the Montreal World Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival in 2000.
fashion-model, accidental-death, delivery-person, drunk-driving, family-business, hit-and-run, pregnancy, abortion, fashion-designer