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Here’s a beautiful, exhausting, typically idiosyncratic film from the Canadian master of DIY avant-garde retro strangeness, Guy Maddin. In basic terms a retelling of Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ set entirely in one house, ‘Keyhole’ is an exploration of memory, family, guilt and sex, drawing equally on traditions of American art cinema and early film noir, most specifically John Huston’s ‘Key Largo’ (hence the title). Jason Patric plays Ulysses Pick, a gang leader who returns to his childhood home in the wake of a botched heist. Abandoning his confused, hapless henchmen and journeying through the house, Ulysses encounters mysteries, memories and the ghost of his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini), trapped in the house. Compellingly dreamlike and at times very funny – lines like ‘that penis needs dusting!’ bring comic relief – ‘Keyhole’ is still too self-referential, too hermetic and too glacial to offer much enjoyment beyond the gorgeous monochrome visuals. 

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: E
Release date: Friday September 14 2012
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Guy Maddin
Cast: Jason Patric
Isabella Rossellini
Udo Kier
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