- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: November 23, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Sony Pictures
Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada) Encoding
Packaging: Keep Case
Theatrical Trailer for THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH
Isolated Music Soundtrack with Instant Access Highlights
Audio Commentary by Director, John Sayles
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"History is our future here, not our past."
- Town leader, promoting tourism
"We're on a camping trip. We're on a survival school camping trip. I mean this is what they call quality time, isn't it' This is what they mean. No distractions, no media. We just get to know each other and gnaw the bark off a few trees."
- Donna De Angelo (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to Noelle (Vanessa Martinez) and Joe Gastineau (David Strathairn), after they are stranded in the wilderness
Entertainment Weekly - 11/26/1999
"...Sayles makes the audience care....[An] inner journey..." -- Rating: A- - Editor's Choice
New York Times - 06/04/1999
"...The questions it raises and its characters' humanity make LIMBO a compelling experience..."
Premiere - 07/01/1999
"...This is one of Sayles's most extraordinary, engaging, and disturbing pictures..."
Los Angeles Times - 06/04/1999
"...Moving and emphatic....In a world where movies rarely touch on issues, this kind of real-world concern is frankly bracing..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/04/1999
"...Mastrantonio is a splendid presence in her role....The movie leaves conventional plot structure behind, and treks off into the wilderness itself..."
USA Today - 12/03/1999
"...[Strathairn] is perfect....And Mastrantonio gets to show off her little-known but professionally trained voice..."
Total Film - 09/01/2000
"...A classy drama from one of America's finest indie helmers..."
Set in Alaska, where the rugged lifestyle of fishermen and cannery workers is gradually giving way to tourism and museums, LIMBO features a colorful cast of characters--a fisherman who has lost his boat, lesbians who own a profitable Alaskan lodge, bar patrons reflecting on the transformation of the state into one huge theme park. The narrative soon focuses on an itinerant lounge singer (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) who begins a romance with a local handyman (David Strathairn), much to the chagrin of her moody teenage daughter (Vanessa Martinez).
Continuing the narrative experiments of director John Sayles's previous films (LONE STAR, MEN WITH GUNS), LIMBO eventually takes a surprising turn, leading to a risky and controversial conclusion that critics either applaud or loathe. LIMBO is a story about telling stories, whether it be in the form of bar rants, Mastrantonio's surprisingly good singing, or the vivid diary found in an abandoned house. This unique film also looks at how people cope with tragedy and learn to take risks again.
In rural Alaska, an jaded lounge singer struggles to raise her sulky teenage daughter, while beginning a relationship with a local handyman. Director John Sayles's ambitious film follows a intriguing narrative path that starts with a budding romance, then switches to a struggle for survival.
- Filmed on location in Juneau, Alaska.
- Director John Sayles visited Alaska in 1988 to give film seminars. He was struck by the proximity of nature and how many people went there to reinvent themselves. He visited again in 1998 and noticed the transformation of the economy towards tourism. He also learned of the true story of a fisherman who caught so many fish that his boat sank; the story is central to LIMBO.
- "I was raised Catholic and a Catholic concept of limbo is the place where the souls of unbaptized people go, those who haven't officially been able to be good or bad. The thing that sets it apart from purgatory, which is sort of a waiting room where you do your time and eventually go to heaven, is that limbo is infinite."--Sayles, in interview with Cineaste, September 1999.
- The film had a budget of about $8 million.