fans are craving, though it glints here and there with traces of his tearaway brilliance.
Co-scripted by Gilliam and Tony Grisoni from the book by Mitch Cullin, ‘Tideland’ imagines a modern Alice in a trash-palace Wonderland, framed in Gilliam’s patented low-angle, off-kilter shots – at one point, the camera all but keels over sideways. Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland) is de facto caretaker of her no-hope parents (Bridges and Jennifer Tilly); the girl even preps daddy’s heroin fixes. After mum’s unlamented demise, father and daughter decamp to a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere, where it becomes painfully clear that Jeliza-Rose’s fecund fantasy world – she keeps up a running conversation with her often hostile entourage of four doll’s heads – is a necessary escape from the mounting squalor and horror of her waking life. Gilliam’s brash disregard for conventional narrative rhythms and structures is one of the many thrills of his best work, but here his freewheeling navigations veer so far off-road that the passenger is left exhausted and bewildered, not least by the blasts of literally flatulent humour.